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By Zach Cavanagh

IRVINE – Spring Break didn’t mean time off for the Dana Hills baseball team.

The Dolphins worked hard and effectively and came back with a little piece of crystal for the trophy case.

Dante Jackson threw five shutout innings, and Dana Hills put up five runs in the fifth inning to pull away from Canyon, 7-2, to win the Ryan Lemmon Tournament’s Guy Lemmon Division championship game on Wednesday, April 4 at Ryan Lemmon Stadium in Irvine.

Dana Hills (11-6) won all four tournament games in impressive fashion with combined 21-run margin of victory, 27-6.

“It’s been exciting to see them compete on a day in and day out situation,” Dana Hills coach Tom Faris said. “We were in some tight situations even if the scores don’t really reflect that. We’ve had some stressful times. They’ve been able to overcome it and get through it.”

The Dolphins beat Tustin on Saturday, March 31, 6-2, University on Monday, April 2, 6-2, and Bountiful of Utah on Tuesday, April 3, 8-0 to win their pool and reach the tournament championship game.

“Just putting the bat on the ball,” Dana Hills shortstop Zach Waters said of what made the Dolphins successful in the tournament. “Normally we’re scared, but we swung the bats and did good things.”

Waters, a junior, was named tournament MVP. The Dolphins lead-off hitter went 7 for 14 over the four games with five runs and six RBIs. He hit a double and an RBI triple in the title game.

Dana Hills baseball poses with the championship trophy after winning the Ryan Lemmon Tournament on Wednesday, April 4. Photo: Zach Cavanagh

“He was a lead-off hitter for us as a sophomore,” Faris said. “Honestly, I’d like to put him in the three slot, but he’s so good in the one slot, getting on base, getting pitch counts up and having gritty at-bats. You’re forced to pitch to him, and that helps him out.”

Jackson, a sophomore, picked up his fourth win of the season with five scoreless innings and allowed two hits with four strikeouts. Jackson is 4-1 with a 2.42 earned run average.

Jackson looked his strongest in his final two innings with three strikeouts in the fourth inning and fielding a 1-6-3 double play in the fifth inning.

Waters got the Dana Hills scoring going in the third inning.

Waters hit a one-out double and scored on an RBI groundout by Logan Gallina.

The Dolphins added another in the fourth. Corey Cisowski was hit by a pitch to lead off, moved to second on a wild pitch, got to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Ethan Ezor.

In the fifth inning, Dana Hills opened with five consecutive hits and sent 10 batters to the plate.

Reid Osako started off with a double and scored on a triple by Waters. Ryan Lewis singled home Waters, and Gallina and Shane Ferrari followed up with singles. Cisowski reached on a fielder’s choice out at home, and Ezor broke it open with a bases-loaded single to score Gallina and Ferrari. Matthew Workman’s pinch-hit single brought in Cisowski to wrap up the Dolphins’ offensive output.

Canyon worked out two runs in the top of the seventh, but Chase Walter closed out the win for Dana Hills.

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