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Fryer on baseball: Zamora records 700th win
Capistrano Valley’s Bob Zamora became the third coach in Orange County baseball history to reach 700 wins Monday with the Cougars’ 10-inning, 3-2 victory over Trabuco Hills.
Zamora was more excited about the game itself than its significance to his career.
“It’s good to win a big league game, and to do it in extra innings, too,” Zamora said. “We used seven pitchers and every boy on the team got to play. I love those kinds of games.”
Zamora, who plans to continue coaching for at least one more season, has coached the Cougars to six CIF-SS championships. Of those, the first one, in 1983, he said, probably remains his favorite. It was a 3-2 win over Norwalk in extra innings at Anaheim Stadium.
Dave Demarest is the all-time county baseball wins leader, with 753 accumulated at La Quinta, from 1973-2007.
Mike Curran of Esperanza has 745 coaching wins. Some of his wins were collected when Curran coached at St. Paul of Santa Fe Springs from 1977-82.
Around the horn in Orange County baseball:
• Two weeks remain in the regular season, so it’s a good time to review the workings of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs. The CIF-Southern Section has seven playoff divisions of 32-team brackets. Playoff brackets will be released May 16. The playoffs begin May 17.
This is the final baseball season in which all of a league’s playoff teams compete in the same playoff division (i.e., all South Coast League playoff teams are in Division 1, all Pacific Coast League playoffs teams are Division 3, etc.) Beginning with the 2016-17 school year, playoff teams in team sports will be placed into divisions based upon the teams’ playoff performance over the previous two seasons.
This year, a team receives guaranteed entry into the playoffs if it is among the top two teams in the final standings of four-team leagues like the Crestview League, if it is among the two top three teams in five-team leagues like the Sea View League and in six-team leagues like the Trinity League.
• According to the CIF-SS baseball playoffs bulletin, a team that does not finish high enough in its league’s final standings to get a guaranteed berth can apply for at-large berth consideration as long as that team has an overall record of .500 or better to be eligible for an-large berth.
Last year, only four at-large teams were in the playoffs. All four were in Division 6.
In most divisions, there will be more playoffs qualifiers than there will be playoffs berths. Wild-card round games will be played to reduce the number of qualifiers to 32 teams for the first round. Last year, five wild-card round games were Division 1.
CIF-SS rankings will have significant impact on seedings.
• CIF-SS baseball championships games are June 4. Finals in Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4 will be played at 66ers Baseball Stadium in San Bernardino. Finals in Divisions 5, 6 and 7 will be played at UC Riverside.
• Huntington Beach and Mission Viejo won CIF-SS championships last season. Huntington Beach prevailed in Division 1. Mission Viejo is defending Division 2 champ.
• JSerra’s three-game sweep of Orange Lutheran last week moved JSerra into the No. 1 position in the CIF-SS Division 1 top 10. El Toro is No. 2. Orange Lutheran, No. 1 in Division 1 the past couple of weeks, is No. 6 this week. Cypress is at No. 8, Marina at No. 9 and Aliso Niguel at No. 10.
• Huntington Beach, No. 1 in the preseason Division 1 rankings, is not in the division’s top 10.
• In Division 2, Foothill is No. 4 and San Clemente is No. 7. Gahr of Cerritos is No. 1 in Division 2.
• The top three teams in the Pacific Coast League standings are in the Division 3 top 10. Beckman is No. 3, Woodbridge is No. 5 and Corona del Mar is No. 10. Troy is No. 6 in Division 4.
• During El Dorado’s two-game sweep of Esperanza last week, Golden Hawks sophomore Kyle Luckham had a pair of hits and was 2-0 on the mound.
• Cypress pitcher Raul Salazar pitched a complete game in the Centurions’ 2-1 Empire League win at Pacifica.
• Costa Mesa had to forfeit its game Friday to Estancia because Costa Mesa coach Paul Grady reportedly refused to leave the game after being ejected in the fifth inning. Umpires ruled it a forfeit win for Estancia.
• Aliso Niguel coach Craig Hanson has been unable to coach the past few games because of facial injuries suffered from being struck by a line drive during batting practice on April 14. He had surgery last week. Hanson expects to resume coaching Wednesday when Aliso plays Laguna Hills.
• Sage Hill has the county’s longest winning streak at 19 games. The Lightning lost the second game of a season-opening doubleheader with Windward of Los Angeles, then started the streak that has them at 20-1 overall. Sage Hill has outscored its opponents, 136-27.
• Sage Hill is 8-0 in the Academy League and plays Crean Lutheran (6-0 in league) on Tuesday at Sage Hill and Friday at Crean Lutheran. The teams are 1-2 in the CIF-SS Division 6 top 10, with Crean at No. 1 and Sage Hill at No. 2.
• Other top games this week: Mission Viejo at San Clemente and El Toro at Tesoro, Wednesday; and Beckman at Corona del Mar, Friday.
• Kennedy and Cypress are tied for first in the Empire League. They play each other next week, the final week of the regular season. This week, Kennedy twice plays Tustin and Cypress twice plays Valencia.
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