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By Steve Breazeale
For in-game updates, scores, news and more for all of the San Clemente High School winter sports programs, follow us on Twitter @SouthOCsports.
Newfound Chemistry Leads Tritons Baseball to Loara Tournament Title
The San Clemente baseball team is loaded with talent this year; that much was evident before the season started.
As they sat atop the CIF-SS Division 2 coaches poll entering last week’s Loara Tournament, their first test of the year, success was sure to follow. But when the Tritons reached the latter stages of the preseason tournament, head coach Dave Gellatly was still waiting to see if his team had that extra gear to push through when teams started pushing back.
On March 14, the Tritons faced deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 in the tournament’s championship game against rival Dana Hills. After battling back to even the score up both times and with the game on the line in the bottom of the ninth inning, the second go-around in extras, senior Will Tribucher came through with a game-winning bases loaded single to secure a 5-4 win.
It was a game the Tritons seemed out of, then back in, then out of again, only to come back a third and final time to knock off the top –ranked team in Division 1.
“The biggest concern of mine was our team chemistry and today was a full team effort,” Gellatly said following the win. “Honestly, it’s a special group of kids. It really is … They pull for each other. It doesn’t matter the talent level of one player or another, they just all want to win. I wasn’t sure about how important that was to them but through this tournament I’ve become a believer in all of them.
In the bottom of the ninth, San Clemente’s No. 8 hitter Tanner Lawson laced a leadoff double off the Dolphins’ Justin Sterner, who was pitching his fourth inning of relief. With one out, Dana Hills (8-1) decided to intentionally walk both Tritons (7-0) leadoff man Lucas Herbert and Connor Sealey to load the bases for Tribucher, who was 2-3 with a double and a run scored before his final at-bat.
Tribucher strode to the plate confident that he would come through for the team.
“I knew I was going to win it right there. I was swinging on that first pitch no matter what,” Tribucher said.
The Michigan-bound senior did indeed swing at the first pitch offered and it found a hole through the right side of the infield for the walk-off win. Tribucher was named the tournament’s MVP.
Dana Hills had their chances to seal the win, getting bases loaded scenarios in both the top of the sixth and seventh innings, but could only bring home one run to show for it.
San Clemente kept things rolling this week, sweeping a double header matchup with Pacifica on March 16.
The Tritons open Sea View League play at home with Trabuco Hills on March 20.
Marshall Brothers Victorious at State Championship
San Clemente’s Mike Marhsall and Kyle Marshall continued their strong wrestling seasons on March 15 at the USA Wrestling-California Grade Level State Championships, earning first-place finishes in their respective weight divisions.
Both wrestlers went undefeated at the event, collecting five straight match wins in the varsity division. Mike Marshall defeated Santana Ruiz 8-1 in the championship match while Kyle Marshall edged Dracius McKee 2-1 in overtime to take first place.
This was the third straight year Mike Marshall has claimed a first-place title at the event. Mike Marshall, wrestling for San Clemente High School, recently placed fifth at the CIF State Championships on March 14.
With their wins, the two wrestlers earned a spot on the California team that will travel to Cedar Falls, IA in April to compete in the USA Wrestling National Championships.
Carroll Sets Meet Record at OC Classic
San Clemente senior track and field distance runner Kelsey Carroll bested the field in the 1600-meter run at the OC Classic on March 13, setting a new meet record with a time of 5:06. Carroll was behind for most of the race but came back over the final 150-meters to get the win.
San Clemente throwers Madison Chronister and Anna Gillis finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the discus throw.
Boys Volleyball on a Roll
The San Clemente boys volleyball team picked up three straight wins in the Best of the West Invitational last week and advanced to the quarterfinals, where they lost to Highland in three sets.
The loss was the first of the season for the Tritons (7-1), who have solid nonleague wins over Edison, Laguna Beach, Buchanan and Santa Barbara to start their year.
The Tritons were set to play Capistrano Valley on March 18. Results were not available at press time.
Softball Finds Tournament Success
A combination of strong pitching and timely hitting has powered the San Clemente softball team to back to back second-place finishes at preseason tournaments this season.
The Tritons started their year with an appearance in the Foothill Roundup Tournament, where they went 4-1 overall.
One week later, San Clemente (7-3) defeated Marina, Capistrano Valley and Huntington Beach in the Saddleback Valley Tournament by a combined score of 18-7 to reach the championship game, where they lost to Orange Lutheran 9-1.
San Clemente will continue tournament play with an appearance in the Crean Lutheran Tournament this week.
Tritons Lacrosse Preps for Rematch with Foothill
The last time the San Clemente and Foothill boys lacrosse teams squared off, it was for a berth in the US Lacrosse Southern Section championship game. It was a closely contested match but Foothill emerged as the winner and went on to claim the postseason hardware.
The two programs will get another shot at each other on March 19 at Tustin High School at 7:30 p.m.
The Tritons (1-2) enter the game coming off a 20-3 loss to Corona del Mar on March 14. Foothill (5-0) has yet to lose this year and has held their last four opponents to six goals or less.
San Clemente picked up a 9-7 win over Newport Harbor on March 12. San Clemente held a one-goal lead heading to the fourth and held on for the win. Nick Lemus and Jack Renard each had three goals and three assists in the win.
Girls Lacrosse Takes Winning Ways into League
The San Clemente girls lacrosse team suffered their first loss of the season on March 17 after falling to Temecula Valley 9-7.
San Clemente (4-1) started the year off with four straight wins over regional opponents, which included wins over Dana Hills, Laguna Hills and Mission Viejo. The senior attack combo of Katelyn Miner (14 goals) and Emily Twilegar (eight) has been powering the Tritons offense.