Tuesday, May 22, 2012
O.C.: Five things from the weekend
1. Corona del Mar's hopes of winning a second consecutive Southern Section volleyball championship ended in four games as the second-seeded Sea Kings were dethroned by top-seeded Oak Park, 22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-21, on Saturday in the Division 2 finals. More bad news came Sunday: CdM was not selected to play in the Southern California Regional playoffs, leaving Orange County in the rare position of not having a representative playing for a regional title.
2. James Kaprielian and Irvine Beckman were almost a casualty of the first round. Kaprielian is one of the Southland's outstanding pitchers, but the second-seeded Patriots needed a two-out, seventh-inning RBI single by Torin Goldstein—who drove in Jake Hazard—to provide a 1-0 victory over El Rancho. Kaprielian (10-2) pitched a two-hitter and struck out 12. In his last nine appearances—five of which were seven innings—Kaprielian has allowed three hits or fewer. In that span: 49 2/3 innings, 13 hits, 4 walks, 68 strikeouts.
3. So much for baseball rankings. The Sunset League laid the hurt on the Moore League as at-large Huntington Beach won at fourth-seeded Long Beach Poly in the opening round Friday, 2-1, as Shane Grace scattered five hits and Matt Urabe went three-for-three and drove in both runs. Another Sunset League school, Huntington Beach Marina, KO'd highly regarded (and seventh-seeded) Lakewood, 2-0, behind Austin Olivas' four-hitter. It was fairly indicative of Orange County's performance: in games that two O.C. teams weren't playing each other in the first round, the county went 5-2; the only setbacks were Marmonte League champ Agoura's home win over Brea Olinda, 6-1, and third-seeded Riverside North beating (another Sunset League team) Huntington Beach Edison, 11-2. In both cases, the O.C. teams had to win play-in games before going on the road.
4. In Division 2 baseball, O.C. won six of seven games against opponents from outside the county, and eliminated three league champions: Placentia Valencia beat Suburban League champ Lakewood Mayfair, 5-4; Tustin beat Pacific League champ Crescenta Valley, 7-4; and Trabuco Hills defeated Channel League champ Goleta Dos Pueblos, 3-2. All those were road victories after having won wild-card games. Most impressive: Trabuco (16-13) followed up its upset of Loyola (19-11-1)—in which it scored two in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh to steal a 5-4 victory—with the win at Dos Pueblos (18-10) on the strength of Brett Dare's three-run double. Kevin Wade was the winning pitcher in both games.
5. Garden Grove Pacifica showed it's in the Division 1 softball playoffs to win it. The Mariners beat Fullerton Rosary in the first round, 7-0. It was the first time this season that Rosary had been shut out, courtesy of Kaley Winegarner (four innings) and Kaylee Carlson (two innings). There was no shortage of pop in the Pacifica lineup: Nicole DeWitt, Erika Campbell and Kristina Akiona hit home runs.