El Dorado senior Joe Russo doubled and scored in the first inning against El Modena.

El Dorado finds way past El Modena in 8 innings


ORANGE – After allowing the tying run to score in the bottom of the seventh inning, El Dorado came to bat in the eighth looking to snap a two-inning hitless streak and get a rally going.

That hit did not come, but thanks to four El Modena errors, the Golden Hawks scored four runs en route to a 6-2 Crestview League win Friday at El Modena High.

El Dorado (9-3, 4-0) drew three walks and executed a successful squeeze bunt in the inning to capitalize on the Vanguards’ many miscues.

“That’s kind of our offense right there,” El Dorado coach Matt Lucas said. “That’s really where we excel – first and third, bunt situations, that’s really our strength.”

The Golden Hawks had four hits off El Modena starting pitcher Brett Conine, who was dominant in a losing effort. The Cal State Fullerton commit threw seven innings and allowed two runs (one earned) with 11 strikeouts and one walk.

“He’s impressive every time he goes out,” El Modena coach Josh Kliner said. “We know what we’re going to get out of him, and he’s an absolute competitor. We’ve got to back him a little better.”

El Dorado was able to score off Conine in the first inning. Joe Russo doubled and was driven in on a single to right field by Christian Cosby. The Golden Hawks’ other run off Conine came in the fifth inning when Ian Meyer scored from third base on a wild pitch.

In addition to El Modena’s defensive struggles, the Vanguards (5-4, 2-2) were unable to hit with men on base. El Modena left 13 runners on base, including eight in scoring position, and had at least one hit in seven of eight innings.

El Dorado starting pitcher Nick Sprengel was able to pitch out of jams often. He pitched five innings and allowed one run, six hits and four walks, with six strikeouts and two hit batters.

“Sometimes it’s tough to get those big hits,” Kliner said. “We had opportunities just about every single inning. You’ve got to tip your cap to the [Sprengel], he’s a hell of a pitcher. He made some great pitches on us in big-time situations, and unfortunately we came up on the short end of the stick.”

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