Corona del Mar scored 11 runs in the second inning and rolled to a 13-5 win over Woodbridge on Friday.
The Sea Kings’ win at home in the Pacific Coast League game was a crucial one. It kept them in sole possession first place, with a 9-2 league record. Beckman is in second, with an 8-3 league record. Woodbridge is third at 7-4 and Northwood is fourth at 6-5.
The top three finishers in the six-team Pacific Coast League receive guaranteed entry into the CIF-Southern Section playoffs that begin May 16.
Corona del Mar has won two of three league games against Beckman and Woodbridge. That’s important. If Beckman or Woodbridge is tied with Corona del Mar for first place when the regular season ends, then Corona del Mar is the league’s No. 1 playoff representative – an important distinction, as being No. 1 almost certainly avoids having to play in the wild-card round and gives Corona del Mar a first-round home game.
“Obviously, we’ve got a long ways to go,” Corona del Mar coach John Emme said. “But we’re in good position.”
Corona del Mar, 17-5 overall and ranked No. 7 in Orange County and No. 7 in CIF-SS Division 2, has four league games remaining. The Sea Kings play University twice next week and Northwood twice the following week, which is the final week of the regular season.
Woodbridge, 15-7 overall, has a foursome of remaining games that will determine its playoffs fate. They play Northwood twice next week and Beckman twice the following week.
Sea Kings sophomore second baseman Reece Berger drove in four runs, all of them in that 11-run second inning in which he had a two-run double and a two-run single. Alex Rosen and Alex Shadid also had two RBI each in the inning.
Rosen, Nolan Dunn and Matt Thompson all scored two runs in the inning in which Corona del Mar had eight hits.
Shadid pitched six innings and got the win in his first start of the season.
Thee 11-run second inning made it 11-0. Woodbridge scored two in the third inning. Corona del Mar added a run in the bottom of the third on Shadid’s sacrifice fly.
Spencer Weston hit a three-run home run for the Warriors in the fifth inning to make it 12-5. In the bottom of the fifth, the Sea Kings’ JT Schwartz singled, his third hit of the day, and scored on an error for the 13th run.