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TIM BURT, STAFF
Woodbridge's baseball team celebrates after defeating University, 8-1, to win the outright Pacific Coast League title.

Woodbridge earns first outright league title

STAFF WRITER

IRVINE - Woodbridge’s baseball team didn’t want to share the Pacific Coast League trophy with anyone.

Needing a win to secure the title outright, the Warriors did just that Thursday afternoon, defeating University, 8-1, in the final PCL game of the year at University.

Woodbridge (19-7, 12-3) secured the school’s second league baseball title and first outright crown. The 1993 Woodbridge team shared the Sea View League title with Irvine.

“We have that slogan, ‘one team, one goal,’ and our goal going into the season was to win that league title, and I’ve believed in this team and in the end we got it,” said second baseman Jake Larson, who was 2 for 4 with two runs scored. “Sharing it is one thing, but having it all by ourselves and being able to call ourselves the champs all alone is amazing.”

“We didn’t want anyone else to share it with us,” added Woodbridge coach Tim Murray. “This is going to be our banner that we’re going to put up and we deserve it. Those kids set the goal, and when your seniors set the goal, it makes it nice.”

Woodbridge senior Zak Baayoun got the win, his second of the week. Baayoun (9-2) got the win in Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over Beckman by pitching a scoreless eighth inning.

He was effective again Thursday, allowing three hits and striking out four through six innings. Shoma Yoshida pitched a scoreless seventh inning.

“I’ve been working all offseason and during the season to keep my arm as fresh as possible and as strong as possible so I can do what I need for the team and come back on short rest,” said Baayoun. “It’s (the league title), something I’m never going to forget. We’ve worked so hard; it’s just the greatest feeling because freshman year, we came in second place to Beckman for league champs.”

University (8-17, 3-12) moved ahead, 1-0, with a run in the second inning. Will Faure reached on an error and advanced to second. He scored on a single by Max Juang.

Woodbridge took advantage of three errors by University (8-17, 3-12) to score three runs in the fourth inning. Adam Knerr had an RBI double in the inning to help the Warriors turn the tide.

“The key to this season has been our ability to not allow us to get down; whereas in years past we might have gotten down, 1-0, and not been able to generate some runs,” said Murray. “These guys have stayed with the plan and stayed with the approach and we just kept scrapping.”

The Warriors moved ahead, 5-1, with two more runs in the fifth inning on Spencer Weston’s double.

In the sixth inning, Baayoun reached on a sacrifice bunt single which drove home one run and Jackson Lyon followed with a two-run single.

Neil Boudreau pitched the first three innings for University before being relieved by Andrew Nelson in the fourth inning. Alex Roude came on to pitch in the sixth.

“I thought Neil Boudreau was lights out today,” said University coach Chris Conlin. “Obviously, on senior day, we threw two really deserving kids who had not pitched one pitch in league and we made a couple of errors. The pitchers deserved a little better fate.”

Contact the writer: tburt@ocregister.com


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