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By Kevin Dahlgren
The San Clemente baseball team, which lost a chance at a co-league championship title after their May 9 loss to Dana Hills, needed a win May 13 against Aliso Niguel to stay in the hunt for second place.
The Tritons got a strong effort from starting pitcher Kolby Allard, but their bullpen was not able to close the door, allowing seven runs in the final inning in an eventual 7-6 loss.
The loss sealed a third-place finish for the Tritons and a second-place finish for Aliso Niguel. Both teams will advance to the CIF-SS Division 2 Championships.
Allard dominated the Wolverines batters through six innings of work, allowing only four batters to reach base on three hits and a walk while giving up no runs. Allard finished his day retiring ten straight batters from the third inning to the sixth.
The Tritons looked strong early, scoring a run in each of the first three innings. Carrying a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth inning, the San Clemente bats knocked in three runs on five hits, including a double by Will Tribucher and a two-RBI single by Tyler Ankrom. Senior Kent Burckle (.455 batting average) continued his torrid season at the plate, smacking two doubles and drawing a walk in three at-bats.
Leading the Wolverines 6-0 heading to the final inning, the Tritons bullpen struggled to get batters out. Rhys Evans and Matt Garrison combined to allow five hits and five runs while recording only one out. With a 6-5 lead, Dylan Riddle came in and surrendered a two-run home run to Aliso Niguel’s Remy Wasserbach, giving the Wolverines a 7-6 lead, their first of the game
The Tritons failed to score in the bottom of the seventh inning, going down in order for the first time in the game.
San Clemente will finish off league play May 15 with a final game against the Wolverines.