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Locals still alive in tourney

Little League

Laguna Beach's Major Division team, despite losing first game of District 55 tournament, has won two straight.

July 05, 2012|From Staff Reports
  • Laguna Beach's Blake Burzell, left, closes out the top of the third inning by beating Laguna Niguel's Jack Sterner, right, to first base.
Laguna Beach's Blake Burzell, left, closes out… (KEVIN CHANG, Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach Little League Major Division All-Star team is moving on in the District 55 All-Star Tournament.

Laguna has played three games since Saturday, has won two straight and posted a 2-1 record. It's latest game Tuesday resulted in a 10-1 victory over Rancho Niguel at Woodfield Park in Aliso Viejo that kept the team alive in the double-elimination tournament.

Laguna Beach will attempt to again fend off elimination when it takes on Laguna Niguel at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Woodfield Park (Field 4). The winner advances to face the victor of another elimination game Friday between Laguna Hills and Northwood at 4 p.m. Saturday at Field 4.

Laguna Niguel is 2-1 and started the tournament June 30 with a 10-0 win over Laguna Beach.

The tournament continues Sunday with another elimination game at 2 p.m. The division's championship series starts at 7 p.m. Monday. If necessary, a final game will be played at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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Through Thursday, Aliso Viejo and Newport Beach were the lone undefeated teams in the tournament.

Laguna Beach earned its second tournament win Tuesday by scoring the game's final nine runs in a 10-1 win that eliminated Rancho Niguel. A home run in the bottom of the first inning by John Langton gave Laguna a 1-0 lead. Rancho Niguel loaded the bases with one out in the top of the second, but scored just one run to tie the score. Solid play in the field by Laguna's James Langton and Justin Holm prevented Rancho Niguel from any further scoring.

Second baseman Dylan Smith also made two big defensive plays and Laguna starter Remy Mackel struck out a batter in the top of the third. With two-out in the bottom of the inning, Laguna broke the tie when Blake Burzell singled and Jack Loechner homered for a 3-1 lead. Mackel struck out two more batters and Smith made another key play at second base in the top of the fourth, and Laguna came back with two more runs in the bottom of the inning. Mackel walked and stole second and third base and scored on a single by James Langton. Jack Wills singled to drive in Langton to bring the score to 5-1.

Loechner relieved Mackel in the fifth where Laguna blew the game open. Burzell and Loechner produced back-to-back singles before Mackel doubled home Burzell. Smith laid down what Manager Eric Wills called a perfect sacrifice bunt to score Loechner. With two out, Holm and James Langton singled and Wills doubled home both runners to make the score, 10-1.

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