Capo Valley storms back in 7th to beat Dana Hills


DANA POINT - The Capistrano Valley baseball team had just enough offense Wednesday afternoon and it translated into the Cougars' first South Coast League victory.

The Cougars (6-4, 1-2) entered the seventh inning with just three hits and no runs against Dana Hills starter Eric Pierce.

Connor Richmond started the inning with a double and was later moved to second on Steven Trojan’s sacrifice bunt. Casey Bennett drove home Richmond with a double to tie the score and Gradeigh Sanchez singled to get Bennett home, giving the Cougars a 2-1 lead and eventual victory over the host Dolphins (6-6, 1-3).

Bennett pitched a scoreless seventh to get the save.

Andrew Richards earned the victory, going six innings. He allowed one run on seven hits with five strikeouts and one walk.

“I was a little nervous in the last inning,” Richards said. “But our hitters stepped up.”

Richards (2-1) caught a couple of big breaks during the game. In the fourth inning, he allowed three consecutive singles with one out to load the bases. Richards regrouped to get Dylan Eisner to fly out to center and then struck out Nick Hseieh to end the inning.

In the sixth, Richards watched as Richmond threw out Jake Thumm at the plate to end the inning, keeping the Dolphins’ lead at 1-0.

“We didn’t do the little things earlier in the ballgame,” Capistrano Valley coach Bob Zamora said. “We didn’t bunt the ball where we should have, he left the bases loaded at one time, but our starting pitcher Andrew Richards did a great job of getting Dana Hills when they had the bases loaded.

“This was a good ballgame. We’re just happy to win it.”

Dana Hills entered the game had scored three runs in its past four games.

Pierce (2-2) had one bad inning and it was enough to lose the game. He allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings.

“We’ve been in every game this year,” Dana Hills coach Tom Faris said. “We lost another one-run ballgame. We can’t push runs across when we need to and when you can’t put people away, things like this are going to happen.”

The Dolphins have been involved in five one-run games this year and three two- or three-run games.

The teams will meet again May 2 at Capistrano Valley and at Dana Hills on May 4.

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