Conine pitches El Modena past San Juan Hills


IRVINE - It was a beautiful day for baseball Thursday, and that is exactly how El Modena  senior Brett Conine pitched – beautifully.

In a 3-1 victory against San Juan Hills in the Ryan Lemmon Invitational, Conine struck out six and consistently threw at speeds in the upper 80s.

“He’s unreal. He goes out and gives us a solid day every time he takes the mound,” Vanguards coach Josh Kliner said of Conine. “He’s a gifted athlete, but on top of that he is probably one of the best competitors we’ve ever coached.”

Conine gave up four hits and pitched to only 20 batters. He allowed a single run in six innings of work.

He helped his own cause at the plate with an RBI sacrifice fly in the first following a hit-and-run that advanced sophomore Frankie Islas into scoring position.

The Vanguards (11-5) got an RBI from both Islas and junior Dominic Campeau in the bottom of the second.

San Juan Hills sophomore pitcher Justin Dunham struggled in that inning, throwing eight straight balls and walking three consecutive batters. He was able to limit the damage to two runs and recovered well in the third.

The game remained 3-0 until the sixth inning when Stallions outfielder Nathan Brawner drove in a run with a triple.

The San Juan Hills (6-12) had a chance in the seventh to extend the game. Two walks by Vanguards pitcher Tyler Condon put two runners on for the Stallions with one out.

Condon then shut the door emphatically, striking out the next two batters to end the game.

The Vanguards are enjoying a four-game win streak, while the Stallions have lost three in a row.

San Juan Hills junior Nicholas Hernandez and El Modena senior Alec Ceniceros were selected to the all-tournament team.

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