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Sophomore Lucas Herbert went 1-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in the Tritons 2-0 Sea View League win over Dana Hills on March 26. Photo by Brian Park
Sophomore Lucas Herbert went 1-3 with a stolen base and a run scored in the Tritons 2-0 Sea View League win over Dana Hills on March 26. Photo by Brian Park

By Steve Breazeale

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 but managed to work his way out of the jam, emphatically striking out the last Dolphins batter to end the game.

The win pushed the Tritons (9-3, 2-1) record above .500 in league play for the first time this season.

“I never really expected to start the first home, league game,” Sim said. “It was real stressful at the end but we pulled through.”

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 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 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.

San Clemente will now host Aliso Niguel, who is slated to start standout sophomore pitcher Kyle Molnar, on March 28 at 3:30 p.m.

Tritons Volleyball Sweeps Past Tesoro, Remains Perfect

Behind another solid outing from Lucas and Jack Yoder, the San Clemente boys volleyball team defeated Tesoro on the road in three sets on March 26. Lucas Yoder led the team with 13 kills while Jack Yoder tallied four kills, five aces, two blocks and 32 assists as the Tritons won convincingly 25-14, 25-18 and 25-14.

The win kept the Tritons perfect 17-0 record on the season intact and earned them their first South Coast League victory of the year. After a match against Trabuco Hills on March 28, the Tritons will host three-time defending South Coast League champion Dana Hills in what will be a crucial and important game that will help shape the top of the league standings.

Next Game: 3/28 at Trabuco Hills, 6 p.m.

Tritons Boys Lacrosse Bounces Back from Loss with League Win Over Diablos
The Tritons traveled to take part in a rematch of last year’s US Lacrosse Southern Section Championship on March 23, as they squared off against Corona Del Mar.

The Sea Kings were able to rally late, breaking a 6-6 tie in the fourth quarter by scoring three unanswered goals to win 9-6.

San Clemente (5-3, 2-1) then traveled to face South Coast League opponent Mission Viejo on March 26 and walked away with a 15-2 win. Peyton Garrett (three goals, two assists), Alec Turner (three goals, one assist) and Jack Renard (three goals, one assist) paced the Tritons offense in the win.

San Clemente Tennis Wins ‘Battle of the Unbeaten’ with Cougars
Both the San Clemente and Capistrano Valley boys tennis teams had perfect 2-0 South Coast League records heading into their March 26 match, which left room for only one team to emerge unbeaten.

The Tritons (7-2, 3-0) were led by the strong doubles duo of Billy Whitaker and Matt Greenberg, who won all three of their sets in the format to help push San Clemente to a 12-6 win.

The Tritons will now travel to play Dana Hills, winners of their last three contests, on March 28.

Next Game: 3/28 at Dana Hills, 3 p.m.

Girls Lacrosse Falls to Diablos
The San Clemente girls lacrosse team lost its third straight South Coast League game on March 26, falling to Mission Viejo 16-8.

Next Game
: 3/28 at Trabuco Hills, 5:30 p.m.

Tritons Softball Wins League Opener

The San Clemente softball team ended a three-game losing skid with a much needed 5-2 win over visiting South Coast league opponent Tesoro on March 26.

The Tritons (4-8, 1-0) had mixed success in the preseason but were able to bounce back to defeat the Titans at home behind two-run innings in the fourth and fifth. The Tritons lineup was able to get to Titans senior starting pitcher Megan Gipe to the tune of seven hits, three of which were home runs.

The Tritons will have had six days off before returning to the field for a road game against Dana Hills on April 2.

Next Game: 4/2 at Dana Hills, 4:30 p.m.

Swim Teams Set for Stretch of League Competition
The San Clemente boys and girls swim teams were set to compete against Trabuco Hills in a non-league meet on March 26. Results were not available at press time. The meet against the Mustangs will be the last non-league meet the Tritons compete in for some time, as matches against Sea View League opponents Dana Hills, Laguna Hills and San Juan Hills are all on tap for the Tritons April slate.

Next Meet: 4/2 vs. Dana Hills, 3:15 p.m.

Tritons Golf in First Place

With three straight wins dating back to March 19, the San Clemente boys golf team has vaulted to the top of the Sea View League standings. Two of the Tritons (6-3, 3-0) most recent wins came in a double header sweep of Laguna Hills on March 19 and March 21, respectively. The Tritons also defeated San Juan Hills 197-205 on March 26.

Next Match: 3/28 vs. San Juan Hills, at San Juan Hills Golf Club, 2:30 p.m.

Track and Field Set for Trabuco Hills Invitational

The San Clemente boys and girls track and field teams were set to compete in a league dual meet against Tesoro on March 27. Results were not available at press time. The team now prepares to travel to Trabuco Hills to compete in the Trabuco Hills Invitational from March 29 to March 30.

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