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Big-name player keys Capo Valley victory over JSerra

OCVARSITY.COM

The biggest play of the game came off the bat of the player with the longest name.

With two outs and a runner on third in the eighth inning, Capistrano Valley's Aldo Koutsoyanopulos smacked a hard grounder to third, and Mike Heenan's errant throw allowed Brendan Gardiner to score, giving the visiting Cougars a 3-2 nonleague victory over JSerra on Monday.

Bedridden over the weekend because of stomach flu and a fever, Koutsoyanopulos missed Saturday's game and didn't start Monday. Called upon to pinch hit in crunch time, he delivered.

"The entire game I was in the dugout just wanting to do that. I wanted to come up big for my team," said Koutsoyanopulos, a name so difficult to pronounce that JSerra's PA announcer resorted to using "Aldo K." "I got the chance and I did."

Capistrano Valley (6-1), ranked No. 8 in the county, received great performances from pitchers Matt Moriarty, who allowed two runs in five innings, and Shane Timmons, who tossed three shutout innings.

After Capistrano Valley scored a pair of runs on bases-loaded walks by Chase Calabuig and Aaron Barnett in the fourth, No. 10 JSerra (1-2) tied the score on Casey Worden's first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth. But that hit produced the only runs JSerra would score.

The Lions' bats are in a bit of an early season funk, producing just six runs over their three games.

Worden, a senior captain, said the Lions have a lot of good hitters and it's a matter of capitalizing with runners in scoring position.

"We just need to do that and I think we'll be fine," he said. "I'm not worried."

Both pitching staffs pitched shutout ball in the sixth and seventh innings, leading to the fateful eighth. Gardiner worked a leadoff walk, advanced to second on a sacrifice and then to third on a passed ball.

Cue Aldo K.

"I was just trying to get a pitch I could hit, really," Koutsoyanopulos said. "Just something I could drive. I didn't get the best hit I could, but I'll take it."

In other baseball:

In the Newport Elks Tournament:

Valencia 9, Katella 0: Sophomore Vicente Guzman (2-0) pitched six shutout innings as the Tigers (5-0) defeated the Knights (2-3) at Valencia. The Tigers piled up 11 hits with four players recording at least two hits each. Sophomore shortstop Coby Kauhaahaa was 3 for 4 with an RBI and two runs scored for the Tigers, who are 3-0 in the tournament.

In nonleague action:

Garden Grove 8, Whittier Christian 1: Andrew Pactwa went 4 for 4 and scored three runs for the Argonauts (3-0), and Manny Segura allowed only one run over six innings to earn the victory.

Orange 6, Western 4: Brian Quibell pitched a complete game for the Panthers (3-2) and also went 2 for 2 and drove in two runs.

Contact the writer: jkaplan@ocregister.com


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