By Steve Breazeale
Boys Lacrosse Stifles Great Oak 17-5 in Playoff Opener
The San Clemente boys lacrosse team started fast and furious on April 30 in the first round of the CIF playoffs, building up an early lead which they never gave up en route to a 17-5 win over visiting Great Oak at Vista Hermosa Sports Park.
Senior Jordan Riggs triggered on a solo move and found the goal early to open the scoring barrage for No. 7 seeded San Clemente (13-5) in the first quarter. Junior attackman Peyton Garrett would follow suit by scoring six goals, including three in the first, and notching two assists in the contest. Jack Renard (three goals, three assists), Austin Streeter (two goals) and Robbie Burns (two goals, three assists) also scored in the first quarter.
The Tritons had built a comfortable 11-0 lead in the second quarter before No. 10 Great Oak (12-6) netted their first goal.
San Clemente’s defense set the tone early and had six different players force takeaways (Stone Sims, Max Lepley, Blake Gonzalez, Jack Renard, Austin Streeter and Jordan Riggs).
Great Oak got two goals each from Hunter Campbell and Alexander Cunningham. Austin Lickley and Collin Zines rounded out the scoring for the Tritons.
San Clemente will now travel to face perennial lacrosse powerhouse Foothill on May 2. San Clemente lost to Foothill 14-4 back on March 2.
Next Game: 5/2 at Foothill, TBD
Tritons Volleyball Bounces Back to Claim Share of League Title
A three-set loss to rival Dana Hills on April 25 certainly put a damper on the San Clemente boys volleyball team’s hopes at an outright league title in 2013.
With top player Lucas Yoder on the bench still nursing a concussion, the Tritons needed to defeat Capistrano Valley on April 30 in their last game of the season to ensure a share of the South Coast League title.
The Tritons (29-2, 7-1 league) were pushed by the Cougars early but did not break, holding on for a 3-1 win.
Capistrano Valley dropped the first set 25-22 but countered in the second, winning 25-23. With the league title on the line the Tritons rallied to take the next two sets in convincing fashion, 25-12, 25-17.
The Tritons were led by senior AJ Hammer who had a team-high 11 kills and four aces. Garrett Costello and Shawn Stephens each contributed 10.
San Clemente and Dana Hills will now flip a coin to determine who will be the league’s No. 1 team when the CIF-SS Division 1 playoffs begin on May 7.
Next Match: At CIF playoffs, TBD
Tritons Tennis Enjoying Perks of Winning League
Winning the league title outright has its benefits, as the San Clemente boys tennis team learned when they took to the courts on April 30 to compete in the South Coast League finals.
Because of their solo first-place finish the Tritons were awarded four singles and four doubles entries into the tournament, more than any other opponent. That quickly translated into more opportunities to advance.
The doubles team of Matt Greenberg and Billy Whitaker entered the tournament as the No. 1 seed and won both of their early round matches to advance to the semifinals, which will take place May 2 at the Laguna Niguel Racket Club. The combo of Nic Valko and Ryan Mariano also reached the semifinals.
The Tritons No. 3 doubles team of Sutton Hulse and Josh Hegewald gained some momentum after winning their first match, but were bounced from the competition in the second round. The Tritons No. 4 doubles team of Yuki Mizutani and Tosch Truman suffered the same fate after winning their first round matchup.
Freshman Jay Yeam was the lone Tritons singles player who advanced past the first day. Yeam, the No. 4 seed, was set to play in the singles league finals May 1. Results were not available at press time.
Next Match: SCL Doubles Finals, 5/2 at Laguna Niguel Racket Club, 1 p.m.
Maples No-Hits Tesoro
Senior pitcher Cody Maples has had an impressive season by any standards. As the San Clemente baseball team’s ace, Maples has lived up to the name. He’s had several impressive starts but his no-hit performance against non-league opponent Tesoro on April 24 has set a new standard.
Maples pitched a complete game in the Tritons 5-0 win, striking out five while walking three while failing to give up a single hit.
One of the more eye-popping stats embedded in Maples historic performance is the sparse 71 pitches he needed to navigate his way through the Tesoro lineup.
Maples suffered an injury in mid-April and had been on a strict pitch count for several weeks. He has since steadily increased his workload and his no-hit performance bodes well for the Tritons as they prepare for the home stretch in league play.
As they have been for most of the season, the Tritons (20-6, 6-2) remain at the top of the Sea View League standings, with an important two-game series against Dana Hills set for May 1 and May 3. Results were not available at press time.
Second-place Aliso Niguel (15-11, 5-3) has won two games in a row and is closing in on the Tritons. The two will cap off their respective seasons with a two-game series against one another on May 7 and May 9.
Next Game: 5/3 vs. Dana Hills, 3:30 p.m.
DePalma, Schwartz Crack Top-3 at Golf League Finals
Senior Matt DePalma fired off rounds of 72 (E) and 73 (+1) at the Sea View League finals on April 30 to claim second place. Sophomore Sammy Schwartz was able to put together rounds of 74 (+2) and 80 (+8) at the San Clemente Municipal Golf Course, good enough for a third place finish.
Shane Barriera (75-85) was able secure fifth place after winning a four-hole playoff, earning a coveted spot to play in the CIF Southern Individual Regional tournament on May 15 at Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach.
The Tritons ended their season with a 4-4 record in league, putting them in a logjam with San Juan Hills and Mission Viejo, who own the same record. San Clemente finished fourth based on head-to-head competition and will look to earn an at-large berth to compete in the CIF-SS team tournament.
Softball Loses Crucial League Matches
Needing to be perfect down the stretch in order to make noise in the South Coast League standings, the San Clemente softball team dropped four league games in a row from April 18 to April 30.
Losses to Mission Viejo, El Toro, Dana Hills and Tesoro, respectively, have the Tritons sitting at 1-5 in the standings.
Next Game: 5/2 at Capistrano Valley, 4:30 p.m.
Girls Lacrosse Falls to El Toro in Season Finale
The San Clemente girls lacrosse team dropped their last game of the season to visiting El Toro 17-7 on April 25. The Tritons tallied a 2-13 overall record on the season and went 0-8 in the South Coast League.
Boys Swimming at League Prelims
Sophomore swimmer Josh Schwartz placed first in the 100 backstroke at the Sea View League prelims on April 30. Schwartz qualified for CIF in the event last year.