San Clemente left fielder Ryan Russell swings at a pitch in the second inning of his team's 8-1 win over Trabuco Hills on Friday afternoon.

Pallante, San Clemente show they can battle and win


SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO - San Clemente starting pitcher Andre Pallante didn’t have great stuff Friday against Trabuco Hills in the teams’ Sea View League opener.

But an off outing for the fire-baller Pallante, whose hat falls askew after every violent pitch, is better than most. He allowed one unearned run on six hits and a walk over 6 1/3 innings while striking out five in the No. 10 Tritons’ 8-1 win against the Mustangs.

“Obviously (Pallante is) a great pitcher and he has more in the tank,” San Clemente coach David Gellatly said. “But the thing that I like about him is he’s a competitor and he fought through.”

Trabuco Hills (2-6, 0-1) also had its ace on the mound in Jack Cornish. After breezing through the first, Cornish allowed six runs (four earned) in the second on four consecutive singles, a walk, a hit batter and a couple errors.

Cornish settled down over the next two innings.

“Rough one to stomach from a baseball standpoint, but that’s baseball,” Trabuco Hills coach Michael Burns said. “Breaks happen, and (the Tritons) definitely did a great job swinging the bat. They definitely earned it swinging against our No. 1 guy.”

Right fielder Jordan Fitzgerald went 2 for 4 for the Tritons (6-2, 1-0) with a single, double and two runs scored.

Left fielder Nick Heili scored Trabuco Hills’ only run when he hit a two-out single in the fourth and scored later on a throwing error.

San Clemente is 2-0 since tying for 10th in the Orange County top 10 poll. It beat Pacifica, 3-2, on the road on Wednesday.

“They’ve come together and they work hard together, and it’s just a bunch of guys that like being around each other,” Gellatly said. “I think they’re learning how to win, which is a good thing.”

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