San Clemente bats lead the way to 12-2 triumph


SAN CLEMENTE - It had been nearly three weeks since San Clemente's offense had experienced a power surge.

While five runs was enough to make starting pitcher Andre Pallante feel at ease on the mound, San Clemente was hungry for more.

The Tritons scored seven runs in the sixth inning to turn a three-run lead into a 12-2 rout of Bellflower in the first round of the CIF-SS Division 2 playoffs on Friday at San Clemente High.

Lucas Herbert finished 3 for 4 with three doubles and four runs batted in. The Tritons sent 13 batters to the plate in the sixth inning.

After Herbert drove in two runs with his third double in the sixth, Will Tribucher followed with an RBI single and Brett O’Toole doubled. The next batter, Connor Sealey, drove home two more with a single.

“It felt good to get those bats going. We’re just trying to stay back and drive it up the middle,” Herbert said. “It was nice to get a good rhythm. It’s a good confidence booster heading into the next round.”

San Clemente (23-7) jumped out to a 5-0 lead over the first four innings. With that cushion, Tritons coach Dave Gellatly decided to pull Pallante after five innings in order to preserve him for a possible start in the second round.

Pallante threw five innings and allowed two hits, striking out five while walking one.

A pair of errors by Bellflower (11-14) led to San Clemente’s first run and Trevor Beard added a sacrfice fly later in the inningt for a 2-0 lead. Herbert had RBI doubles in the second and fourth innings, while Tanner Lawson drove home a run with a groundout.

Both Bellflower runs were scored in the sixth inning, which cut San Clemente’s lead to 5-2.

San Clemente moves on to play Dos Pueblos on Tuesday at a site to be determined Saturday by coin flip. Dos Pueblos beat Villa Park in the first round, 5-4.

“We played our game and we kept it tight for a while, but it was nice to rest Andre a little bit,” Gellatly said. “From this point forward, it’s not who’s seeded, it’s who’s best that day.”

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