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Capo Valley's win extends fight for South Coast title

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Capistrano Valley pitcher Jordan Bocko approached his start as if it was just another game.

It was not. It was a crucial league baseball game for the Cougars.

Bocko allowed just four hits, and the Cougars forged a three-way tie for first in the South Coast League by defeating No. 6 Aliso Niguel, 6-1, on Tuesday at Aliso Niguel High.

Capistrano Valley (12-16-1, 6-5) is tied with the Wolverines (17-12, 6-5) and No. 4. Dana Hills atop the standings with one league game left. The winner of Wednesday’s game between Capistrano Valley and Aliso Niguel will earn the at least a share of the league title and the league’s top seed in the playoffs. Both teams won two out three games against Dana Hills this year.

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SOUTH COAST STANDINGS

1T. Aliso Niguel  6-5

1T. Capistrano Valley 6-5

1T. Dana Hills 6-5

4. Tesoro 6-6

5. El Toro 4-7

*Guaranteed playoff spots for top three finishers.*

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The Cougars struggled in their nonleague games, going 6-11-1. League games have been a different story for the defending South Coast League champions.

“There’s been a different vibe when we play league,” Bocko said. “I don’t know what it is, but we’ve been a lot more focused. We’ve handled great pitchers like (Kyle) Molnar and the Crouse (brothers).”

Bocko (5-5) led the charge with three hits against Molnar. Ryan Hinojosa’s solo home run in the first inning sent the Cougars’ starter to the mound with a lead.

The Wolverines tied the score, 1-1, in bottom of the first when Domenic Colacchio scored on Molnar’s sacrifice fly.

Molnar (7-3), who struck out 10, had retired eight in a row before the Cougars struck again in the fourth. Jake Ortega and Bocko scored on Austin Moreira’s two-out single, lifting Capistrano Valley into the lead for good.

“Our guys are seasoned, and they’re tough,” Cougars coach Bob Zamora said. “They were going to fight until the very last pitch.”

Also in the South Coast League:

No. 4 Dana Hills 1, El Toro 0: Senior Marrick Crouse pitched a three-hitter and struck out four, and Shane Wilsey drove in the winning run in the fourth for the Dolphins (24-6, 6-5), who play at El Toro on Wednesday.


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