By Steve Breazeale
San Clemente’s Sim Shines in Surprise Start as Tritons Best Dolphins 2-0
With their current No. 1 starter, senior Cody Maples, feeling the effects of a sore arm, junior pitcher Andrew Sim was called upon to take the mound for the San Clemente baseball team’s first Sea View League home game of the season against crosstown rival Dana Hills on March 26.
Sim, who was called up from the junior varsity squad two weeks before the start of the season, turned in a six-inning, two-hit, three-strikeout effort and the Tritons went on to win 2-0.
After Sim was taken out of the game, before the start of the seventh inning, the Dolphins (7-8, 0-4 league) lineup, which had been quiet until that point, suddenly woke up. Senior relief pitcher Marshall Pautsch inherited a no outs, runners at first and second scenario and quickly gave up an infield single to the Dolphins sophomore catcher Jared Jennings to load the bases.
Despite the pressure packed situation, Pautsch managed to work his way out of the jam by emphatically striking out the last Dolphins batter to end the game.
The loss was tagged to Dolphins senior starter Grant Dyer, who pitched well in his fifth appearance of the season. Dyer pitched a complete game and surrendered only four hits and one walk while striking out four and giving up one earned run.
The Tritons (9-3, 2-1) got a defensive boost in the top of the second inning from sophomore catcher Lucas Herbert, who turned what could have been a damaging situation into a bizarre, inning-ending double play.
With runners at second and third base the Dolphins tried to put on a risky squeeze play, but Herbert sniffed it out. Herbert chased down the Dolphins runner back to the third base bag, which was already occupied by the Dana Hills runner coming in from second. Herbert applied one tag then made a throw to teammate Kent Burckle, who finished the play and the inning with yet another tag.
It was a confusing series of events that turned out to be a crucial point in the game, considering the score was 0-0 at the time.
“I haven’t seen that (scenario) before and probably never will again,” San Clemente head coach Dave Gellatly said. “It was a heads up play on (Herbert’s) part. It probably saved us the game.”
In the next frame the Tritons took the lead on a Brock Eissman sacrifice fly that scored fellow senior Shane Elias-Calles.
The Tritons would tack on one more run in the bottom of the fourth inning on an Elias-Calles RBI single that brought Herbert in from third base.
Next Game: 3/30 vs. West Covina, 11 a.m. (Anaheim Lions Tournament)
Dolphins Boys Volleyball Defeats Mustangs, Eye Clash With Tritons
Dana Hills boys volleyball head coach Oz Simmons has seen his teams have past preseason success, only to fall flat in the league opener when the time came. That wasn’t the case on March 21 as the Dolphins opened up South Coast League play on the road with a convincing 3-0 win over Trabuco Hills.
The Dolphins (17-3, 1-0 league) enjoyed some preseason success this year, earning berths in the quarterfinals of the Best of the West Tournament in Poway and the semifinals in the OC Championships. Simmons touched on the fact that the Dolphins built up their confidence heading into the match with the Mustangs (11-1, 0-1) after playing some top talent from around Orange County.
The Dolphins looked comfortable, winning 25-18, 25-17 and 25-14.
Dana Hills built up leads early in sets and maintained comfortable cushions throughout. The Mustangs first and only lead came midway through the second set, when they took a slim 12-11 lead.
“In league it’s a different notch. We have come out in league kind of tight in recent years and so I think the guys played well,” Simmons said of his team’s effort against the Mustangs. “They played solid all the way through. Just really consistent every single set.”
After the Mustangs took the 12-11 lead in the second set, the Dolphins responded two points later by going on an 8-0 run with junior Christian Hessenauer serving. Hessenauer tallied two of his three aces on the night during the run.
The serving of Hessenauer, and senior Bryce Yould, paced the Dolphin offense and set the tempo. Yould and Hessenauer both tallied 11 kills on the night.
The Dolphins were set to play against Capistrano Valley on March 28. Results were not available at press time.
An important April 2road game against San Clemente is coming up for the Dolphins. The Tritons are undefeated on the season and the match is sure to shake up the top of the league standings.
Swim Team Tames Stallions
The Dana Hills boys swim team swam away with a comfortable league win on March 19 with a 141-48 win over San Juan Hills. Several Dolphins won their events, including Mitch Heimbach (200 fee, 100 free) and Roger Kjos (200 IM, 500 free). All three Dana Hills relay teams took first place.
Both the boys and girls teams were set to compete against Mission Viejo on March 26. Results were not available at press time.
Next Meet: 4/2 at San Clemente, TBA.
Boys Tennis Preps for Tritons
The Dana Hills boys tennis team was on a three-game winning streak heading into their March 28 match against league rivals San Clemente. Results were not available at press time. After losing to Capistrano Valley 11-7 on March 14 to start South Coast League play, the Dolphins have rebounded with three straight wins over Laguna Beach, Tesoro and El Toro, respectively.
Next Game: 4/2 at Capistrano Valley, 3 p.m.