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Laguna can't hang on

Baseball and Softball

Estancia scores twice in the final two innings to edge the Breakers, 2-1, in key Orange Coast League baseball game.

April 19, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna Beach High pitcher Grant Wilhelm delivers a pitch against Estancia High in the bottom of the first inning Tuesday.
Laguna Beach High pitcher Grant Wilhelm delivers a pitch… (KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

For much of Tuesday's key Orange Coast League baseball game against Estancia, it appeared that Laguna Beach would even things up with Eagles.

The Breakers were on the verge of putting their season series with Estancia at 1-1, but the Eagles rallied late to score single runs in both the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings to pull out a 2-1 victory. The setback cost the defending-champion Breakers a shot at moving into a tie for second place in the league standings and closer to league-leading Calvary Chapel.

Laguna scored their only run in the top of fifth and had runners in scoring position in the sixth and seventh innings, yet couldn't punch in another run.

"We had great at-bats today, pitched very well, (but) a couple errors in the field made the difference," Laguna Coach Mike Bair said. "We were prepared to play today, even with the layoff, but just couldn't get the clutch RBI hit."

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Laguna took its 1-0 lead on a run-scoring single by Grant Wilhelm. With just one out in the fifth, the Breakers could have done more damage with runners on second and third, but left both on base.

Estancia was down to its final out in the bottom of the sixth when Ben Beck, who opened with a single and moved to second, scored on a triple to right field by Steven Macias that tied the score. Laguna had a golden scoring opportunity in the top of the seventh, but again couldn't score.

Juniors Adam Rodner and Robbie McInerny both singled to start the inning but the potential scoring threat fizzled when the Eagles turned a double play off a Wilhelm line drive out to center field. A batter later, Macias, who pitched a complete game, got Blake Hester to ground out to shortstop.

In the bottom of the seventh, Beck singled in the winning run.

Rodner went two for three with a double and scored the lone Laguna run. Wilhelm also went two for three and also pitched a complete game. The sophomore, now 5-2, struck out three.

Macias struck out five but gave up eight hits in improving his record to 5-2. He also led the Eagles offensively with a three-for-three day.

The loss left Laguna at 4-4 in league and 11-7 overall. One of those defeats came to Estancia (10-6) in a March 16 league opener for both teams. Estancia improved to 6-2 in league and 11-6 overall. Calvary Chapel, a 22-0 winner Tuesday over Saddleback, is 7-1.

Laguna completes its three-game league series with Estancia with a 3:15 p.m. home game Friday. Bair said junior pitcher Jackson Rees will start for the Breakers.

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