Would you believe there are different levels to losing? It happens in baseball, especially when it's a tight game without errors. That's not that painful of a loss.
Last year, Corona del Mar High experienced frustrating losses, as opposed to losses in hard-fought games. This year, the Sea Kings' first loss came Friday, when they ran into a slightly better team in the Newport Elks Tournament Foothill Division championship game.
Senior pitcher Matt Torretto delivered a complete-game shutout with one strikeout, giving up three hits and three walks to lead Trabuco Hills to a 3-0 win.
The Mustangs (7-1-1), who reached the CIF Southern Section Division 1 semifinals last year, return four varsity players this season, with Torretto as the top pitcher.
The loss didn't seem to sting the Sea Kings as much, as they fell to 4-1. Last year, CdM started the season, 0-10.
"When you get beat by a baseball team in a baseball game it's not nearly as bad as giving games away," CdM Coach John Emme said. "We didn't give this game away. They came out and they out-pitched us and out-clutch-hit us. That's a good baseball game. It stinks to lose, but you can live with that a lot better than kicking the ball around."
Nick Premer, a junior third baseman, led CdM with two hits. Junior center fielder Brenden Hueston singled in the fifth inning for the Sea Kings.
"It's a great start. It's awesome," Premer said of CdM's 4-1 record. "We just need to put better swings on the ball and we can be able to play even better against teams like this."
Trabuco Hills Coach Michael Burns was actually impressed with the Sea Kings, with their defense and the way they battled against Torretto.
"I was really impressed with their lineup," Burns said. "They really hit hard at us. I feel like we got away with one today."
CdM is getting closer to beginning Pacific Coast League play. Before that, the Sea Kings will take on rival Newport Harbor in a Battle of the Bay doubleheader at UC Irvine on Monday, starting at 4 p.m.
Newport Harbor will start Liam Ogburn in Game 1, while CdM is not sure yet, Emme said.
"It's always fun," Emme said of the Battle of the Bay. "It would be even more fun if we could go at each other full steam. But since league will start that Friday we have to hold back a bit on pitching. It's always fun and what a great venue. UCI treats us so well."
Premer is definitely looking forward to the rivalry doubleheader.
"I'm excited," Premer said. "It's the best game of the year. You grow up playing with those guys and now you get to play against those guys on the high school level at UC Irvine. That's always exciting."
Newport Elks Tournament
Trabuco Hills 3, Corona del Mar 0
SCORE BY INNINGS
Trabuco 020 010 0 – 3 7 0
CdM 000 000 0 – 0 3 0