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NICK AGRO , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
San Clemente's Andre Pallante pitches during a Sea View League game against Trabuco Hills on Friday at San Clemente High. Pallante pitched a three-hitter with three strikeouts in San Clemente's 6-1 victory.

San Clemente loses Allard to injury, but beats Trabuco Hills

STAFF WRITER

SAN CLEMENTE - Midway through its Sea View League opener Friday against Trabuco Hills, No. 2 San Clemente received word that its standout pitcher, Kolby Allard, would be out of action for a while.

The Tritons’ senior left-hander, considered one of the top pro prospects in the nation, felt tightness in his back Tuesday and sent his teammates a message that he would miss his start to have it checked.

But San Clemente’s tight-knit team rallied behind junior right-hander Andre Pallante and the offense gave him an early cushion, leading to a 6-1 win over the No. 10 Mustangs at San Clemente High.

“These guys are really close, they’re all best friends,” Tritons coach Dave Gellatly said. “Kolby’s message to the team (Tuesday) was about him wanting to be there for the boys, it wasn’t about him.”

On Friday, Allard’s ailment was ruled a stress fracture and the UCLA signee was told he would need six to eight weeks to rest.

Pallante filled in nicely Friday. He tossed a complete game, allowing one run on three hits with three strikeouts and the Tritons’ defense constantly thwarted momentum swings.

With runners on first and second and nobody out in the top of the fourth, San Clemente catcher Lucas Herbert picked off the Mustangs’ Chad Crosbie at second base, which was followed by one of the team’s three double plays.

“It’s tough to see Kolby get hurt, he’s the main factor on our team,” Pallante said. “I was just happy to help the team get the win, and there’s no one I’d rather have behind me. We have a solid defense.”

The Tritons (8-0, 1-0), coming off winning the Loara Tournament last week, gave Pallante plenty of support in the second inning.

Dylan Riddle and Brett O’Toole put San Clemente on the scoreboard with consecutive RBI singles off Mustangs starter Matt Torretto. Later in the inning, Herbert drove in both with a triple for a 4-0 lead.

“I think that helped Andre with his confidence and he just shut them down from there,” Gellatly said.

Tyler Ankrom singled home a run in the fifth and Herbert added an RBI single in the sixth inning. Of San Clemente’s six runs, four came with two outs.

Trabuco Hills (7-4-1, 0-1) responded in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Eric Voller singled home Cristian Perez from second base, but aside from that run, Trabuco Hills didn’t get a runner past second base.

“It seemed like every time we’d start to rally a bit, we’d do something to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Mustangs coach Michael Burns said. “

San Clemente heads to the National High School Invitational, which begins Wednesday in Gary, N.C.

“Without Kolby, some guys are going to have to step up and I think they can,” Gellatly said. “We’re just hoping to represent the city of San Clemente well.”

Contact the writer: npercy@ocregister.com


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