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KEVIN SULLIVAN , STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Cypress starting pitcher James Acuna throws against Pacifica during the Centurions' 8-2 victory Friday afternoon.

Cypress comes up with the hits to beat Pacifica

STAFF WRITER

CYPRESS – Cypress has won two Empire League championships in a row.

The Centurions took an early yet important step toward a third straight title Friday with an 8-2 league win over Pacifica at Cypress High.

Cypress is off to a 2-0 start in league, having also defeated Pacifica on Wednesday.

The Centurions (11-8 overall) play Tustin twice next week and Valencia twice the following week. Valencia and Tustin might be Cypress’ toughest competition in the Empire League, but Pacifica (11-12) is the only non-Cypress team to win the league championship over the past five years and has hung in there while playing a challenging nonleague schedule this year.

On Friday, Isaiah Parra had two hits and two RBI, Brandon Alamo hit two inning-starting doubles and scored twice, and Dominic Fletcher had two hits and drove in a run.

The Centurions scored five runs on six hits in the fourth inning.

Fletcher and Cypress coach John Weber said they hope Friday’s 11 hits trigger a trend.

“We need to be more consistent hitting-wise,” said Fletcher, a junior center fielder who has committed to Arkansas. “Our defense has been great; our pitching’s been really good, but we just need to step up our hitting.”

Fletcher leads the team in hits (22) and RBI (15) and is batting .431.

Weber said, “We haven’t been swinging the bats well overall. We score a bunch against Yorba Linda and Lakewood, then we get three hits in one game and four the next and we had only four hits the other day when we beat Pacifica. Today, we made some adjustments and hit the ball up the middle which is a key.”

Cypress junior pitcher James Acuna was a beneficiary of the offense. He pitched a complete game, allowed six hits and two earned runs while walking two and striking out four. The 6-foot-4, 170-pound right-hander is 5-2 with a 1.11 ERA.

Pacifica got on the scoreboard first on Luis Plaza’s solo home run in the second inning.

Cypress took a 2-1 lead in the second inning, with Jarren Duran, who singled, and Parra, who walked, scoring the runs.

The Mariners had the bases loaded with no outs in the third inning but could only score one when Tommy Monahan crossed the plate during a double play to tie it, 2-2.

Cypress’ five-run fourth inning started when Alamo doubled and scored on Duran’s single. Parra doubled to drive in Duran and make it 4-2. Jeff Lim tripled to send home Parra and Lim scored on Jason Bush’s single for a 6-2 lead.

Fletcher’s double drove in Bush to conclude the fourth-inning scoring.The Centurions scored their eighth run in the fifth when Alamo doubled and scored on Parra’s single.

Pacifica plays Kennedy in league play twice next week. The Mariners have lost to several quality teams, including county top-10 teams Orange Lutheran, San Clemente (twice), and have beaten El Dorado and Santa Margarita.

Contact the writer: sfryer@ocregister.com


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