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Baseball: Breakers keep on winning

Laguna Beach improves to 10-0 in league and earns 16th straight win with 5-3 victory against Calvary Chapel.

April 25, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(KEVIN CHANG / Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach High baseball team prides itself on finishing strong. It's what the Breakers needed Tuesday night in a key Orange Coast League showdown.

The Breakers did come up with such an effort against Calvary Chapel at Windrow Park in Irvine. They overcame a pair of two-run deficits and by finishing fast late, pulled out a 5-3 victory at Ryan Lemmon Stadium.

The win was critical on a few fronts, mainly, that it kept Laguna alone atop the league standings. They now have a two-game edge on Calvary Chapel with five league contests remaining. A Calvary win Tuesday would have put the Eagles (13-8, 8-2 in league) into a first-place tie with the Breakers.

In winning its 10th league contests in as many starts, the Breakers, ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 4, added to their school-record win streak which is now at 16 games. They set the new mark for consecutive wins when they beat Saddleback last week.

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The Breakers (20-2) needed all they could muster Tuesday to keep their streak alive. They met the challenge of a Calvary team that took a 2-0 lead in the second inning and led, 3-1, through the third. But, as Coach Mike Bair said, his team looks for a big finish.

The Breakers thrived on that Tuesday by scoring the final four runs of the game and shutting out the Eagles over the final four innings.

"Finishing strong is something we've been able to do this year," Bair said. "We were in for a fight against Calvary, but our guys played well down the stretch. It was a great game."

Bair also needed only two words to sum up the crucial factor in the game.

"Grant Wilhelm," he declared.

Wilhelm, who started in center field and made an outstanding catch on the warning track while on the run in the opening inning, took over pitcher duties for starter Kurt Rebone with two out in the bottom of the third and the Breakers trailing, 3-1.

"I told Grant for the last few games, he might not be our 1-2 punch right now but he has to be ready from center field any time we might need him. Sure enough, we needed him early in this game.

"To top it off, he gets the game-winning RBI. He was the big difference in the game."

Wilhelm (3-2) was impressive on the hill, in the field, and at the plate.

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