Laguna Beach rallies, extends reign in Orange Coast League
LAGUNA BEACH - This seemed like “the game” for Calvary Chapel.
The game when, for the first time since 2012, the Eagles would beat Laguna Beach, the three-time defending Orange Coast League champ.
They jumped ahead with three runs in the first and Braden Wallace was pitching well enough to keep a two-run lead entering the fifth. But that’s when the magic died.
That’s when Breakers, who had outscored league opponents, 111-33, let loose for six hits and three runs in the fifth and sixth innings to beat Calvary Chapel, 4-3, and capture their fourth consecutive league title.
“We just kept the faith throughout the game, and we knew that no matter what the score was, we were going to come back,” said Will McInerny, a four-year varsity player who is 11-0 against Calvary Chapel (18-6, 11-3).
“We never had a doubt that we weren’t going to dogpile at the end of the game.”
The two teams entered Tuesday tied atop league standings at 11-2. Laguna Beach (14-12, 12-2) won their first meeting in April, so Calvary Chapel needed to win Tuesday and the regular-season finale Thursday to capture the league title.
Isaiah Lara and Patrick Glasgow knocked in the Eagles’ second and third runs in the first. Robbie Haw, who led off the game with a walk, scored their first when Isaiah Lee reached on a throwing error. Lee later scored on Lara’s RBI single.
Breakers starter Ashton Goddard (3-2, 2.16 ERA) settled down after that hectic first. He escaped jams in the second and third and ended his 52/3 innings of work with four hits and four strikeouts.
“I told him having a day like that shows a lot to yourself and the team,” Breakers coach Michael Blair said. “When you don’t have your best stuff … to me (it) was all heart.”
McInerny singled in Dante Faicchio in the bottom of the first for the Breakers’ first run. Connor Basile and Dustin Angus knocked in their second and third runs on back-to-back two-out doubles in the fifth, and Faicchio knocked in the winning run with a bases-loaded single in the sixth.
Calvary Chapel didn’t record a hit and struck out three times in the sixth and seventh innings.
“Momentum is contagious and their hitters were being aggressive and finding the gaps and our hitters were a little more passive, letting pitches go by,” Eagles coach Cole Wilson said.