By Kevin Dahlgren
The San Clemente baseball team needed a win in their May 9 game against Aliso Niguel to clinch the school’s first baseball league championship in more than 30 years. Entering the day, both Aliso Niguel and San Clemente High Schools stood tied for first place in the Sea View League with 8-3 records.
The Tritons and the Wolverines looked like two evenly matched teams and were tied 0-0 as they headed to the sixth inning Thursday. Triton sophomore pitcher Kolby Allard allowed only two hits to Wolverine hitters through the first five innings of the game. Both teams managed only a combined five hits until the Wolverines stepped up to the plate in the top of the sixth inning.
The scoreless tie was broken when Aliso Niguel’s Kyle Molnar singled to left field bringing in the runner from second base. The Wolverines added two more runs in the top-half of the seventh inning on a double by senior Austin Hudges and Justin Fowler’s two-out single to ensure a 3-0 win, denying the Tritons the title.
Aliso Niguel made Thursday’s game a winner-take-all scenario with a 1-0 win over the Tritons on May 7.
Allard was able to retire two batters in the seventh inning before being relieved by senior Marshall Pautsch who recorded the final out. Allard finished the day with 6 2/3 innings pitched allowing five hits, three earned runs while striking out three batters.
Along with driving in the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, Aliso Niguel’s Kyle Molnar also pitched a complete game shutout to give the Wolverines their second Sea View League Championship since 2010. Molnar gave up only five hits, two of which came in the seventh and final inning.