Having had a week to prepare for the final leg of the regular season, the Laguna Beach High baseball team gets into the meat of its Orange Coast League schedule next week, beginning with an important two-game swing with Estancia.
Starting Tuesday, the Breakers have eight league games left, two each against Estancia, Calvary Chapel, Godinez and Saddleback. They finished up their three-game league series with Costa Mesa just before the start of spring break.
Laguna scored a 10-9 victory over visiting Costa Mesa in a wild contest April 5 that featured 26 hits. The Breakers out-hit the Mustangs, 17-9, but it took a bases-loaded walk drawn by Kurt Rebone in the bottom of the seventh to bring home the winning run.
Pinch-runner Jackson Rees scored on Rebone's walk. Not only did Rebone get the walk-off walk, the junior — who replaced starter Larry Stewart (four innings) — also got the pitching victory. Laguna seemed well on its way to an easy win after rolling up a 9-0 lead through four innings. The Mustangs, however, started to rally back with a seven-run fifth inning and scored the tying runs in the sixth.
The win gave Laguna a 3-0 season mark against the Mustangs.
"It was a roller coaster ride," Laguna Coach Mike Bair said. "We were up 9-0 and then blinked, and it was 9-9. We had some clutch at-bats in the seventh and a great at-bat from Rebone to squeeze out the victory."
Another highlight for Laguna was a home run from Robbie McInerny, who went three for five with a double, three runs batted in and two runs scored. Grant Wilhelm went four for five with an RBI and run scored, Adam Rodner went three for three with two RBIs and scored twice, Stewart went three for five with a double and Steven Harrison had two hits and scored twice.
The Breakers have won eight of their last nine games and went into spring break with an 11-6 record. At 4-3 in league, they have a chance next week to climb up the league ladder.
Laguna can move into a tie for second place Tuesday (3:15 p.m.) with a win at Estancia. The Eagles are 5-2 in league and alone in second place, one game behind league-leader Calvary Chapel (6-1).
Laguna and Estancia also play an April 20 game (3:15 p.m.) at Laguna. The Eagles defeated the Breakers, 10-6, in the first league meeting between the teams March 16.
"We must throw strikes and make the routine plays in the field," Bair said of his team and what necessities it requires in order to remain in the league's title chase. "If we continue to take high quality at-bats, I believe we can make the OCL race interesting."
Following the two Estancia games, Laguna has a crucial two-game series with Calvary Chapel on April 24 and April 27.
The Breakers have had the week off because of spring break. They are 9-5 and next play at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to face Godinez in Orange Coast League action.
The Breakers (1-1 in league) defeated Estancia (10-0) on Mach 27 but lost to league-leader Calvary Chapel (6-0) on March 29. A win over Godinez would put the Breakers second place in the league standings.
The Breakers, who won five of their last six games before the break, have eight league contests left on their schedule.