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CdM routs Sailors in Battle of the Bay

By Matt Szabo, 03/15/16, 10:15AM PDT


The venue for Monday's Battle of the Bay baseball match changed quickly.

So did the number of games.

The Corona del Mar and Newport Harbor high school baseball teams were supposed to play a doubleheader at UC Irvine's Anteater Ballpark, as they have the past few years. However, rain early Monday morning changed those plans.

"We kind of thought that they would rain us out," Corona del Mar Coach John Emme said. "They don't want to get [their field] torn up."

Emme found out at 1 p.m. that this was the case, so the doubleheader was dropped as neither team has lights at its field. As for the venue, it moved to Newport Harbor High.

"It's really hard to play a Monday doubleheader when you have league [games] on Tuesdays and Fridays," said Emme, whose team, like the Sailors, starts league play on Friday. "Better to play one now then try to figure something out later that might hurt us in our runs in league."

 Battle of the Bay Baseball Game
Corona del Mar High's baseball team shuts out rival Newport Harbor, 11-0, in the Battle of the Bay. (Photos by Kevin Chang | Daily Pilot)
The shift from a neutral field to the Sailors' diamond certainly didn't affect the Sea Kings. They came out swinging.

CdM scored five runs in the top of the first inning and routed the Sailors, 11-0. For the Sea Kings it was a much better outcome than last year, when the Sailors swept the doubleheader at UCI. Their offense, pitching and defense were all excellent as they turned four double plays.

"After last year and the way our team played, it was great to come out and do what they did to us to them," said CdM sophomore leadoff hitter Preston Hartsell, who went two for four with a two-run home run and three runs batted in.

Corona del Mar (5-0), ranked No. 7 in CIF Southern Section Division 3, stayed undefeated going into Friday's Pacific Coast League opener against Woodbridge at Ryan Lemmon Stadium. Emme, in his 19th season, said he can't remember the last time his team started 5-0; it's been at least 11 years.

The Sea Kings gave their sophomore starting pitcher, left-hander Chazz Martinez, a nice lead to work with before he ever took the bump. Hartsell reached on an infield error to start the game, an ominous start for Newport Harbor (4-3). He advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a single to left by the No. 2 hitter, fellow sophomore J.T. Schwartz. Newport Harbor nearly had Hartsell gunned down at the plate, but the catcher dropped the throw and Schwartz advanced to second.

An out later, he would score on Robby Hurst's single to center. And Hurst would come home on Evan Larsen's ground-rule double, giving the Sea Kings a 3-0 advantage.

Then another error hurt the Sailors. After a grounder back to the pitcher, Sailors starter Jeremiah Sheldon threw to second. But Larsen got out of the pickle and was safe at third, then senior Donato DiFerdinando walked to load the bases.

Freshman Reece Berger brought in one run with a sacrifice fly, and senior Kevin McCarthy singled home Brenden Heuston to give CdM the big early cushion.

"That was nice, because we've been playing from behind this year so far," Emme said. "To come out and jump on top was fantastic."

Martinez allowed just one hit in his four innings of work. Twice, in the second and fourth, he allowed back-to-back walks, but neither time ended up hurting him. In the second, the Sailors were still down 5-0, and they hurt themselves after Luke Genova and Sean Korkmaz drew walks with one out. Josh Spicer followed with a hit to deep center, but the lead runner got a bad jump and Newport Harbor ended up with two runners at third base. CdM tagged out the second one, and Martinez got out of the jam.

"Chasing five, our runner at second was playing very conservatively... [but] by the time he got the jump I couldn't send him," Newport Harbor Coach Evan Chalmers said. "We got clogged up at third base and we ended up coming out of it with nothing. That's a real important missed opportunity, with what should have been an easy double and a run, and possibly a big inning."

Jake Genova and Max Crabbe both walked to open the bottom of the fourth for the Sailors. But Martinez got a double-play ball to third base, the first of the four in the game. The third one, to end the sixth inning, was possibly the most impressive, as CdM senior Nick Premer made a nice pick at first base.

The Sea Kings, who also got doubles from Premer and DiFerdinando, scored the last of their runs in the top of the fifth after the No. 9 hitter, McCarthy, led off with a bunt single. Hartsell, a USC commit, then crushed a first-pitch fastball over the fence in center for his second home run of the season, giving the Sea Kings a 10-0 lead.

Schwartz, a UCLA commit, followed with a double to center. He scored on Hurst's second RBI single of the day.

After Martinez was pulled with an 11-0 lead in the fifth inning, Tommy Paoletti, Alex Shadid and Hudson Davis each pitched an inning for CdM to complete the shutout.

"[Martinez] was shut down for a while, so he's been coming back and building his strength up," Emme said. "He probably went too deep in a few counts, got his pitch count up a little bit, but he's a phenomenal pitcher with amazing stuff. We need to have him right to do what we're hoping to do this year."

Cade Seabold, Kyle Carmack and Sheldon also had hits for the Sailors, who will look to get back on track Friday when they play host to Fountain Valley in their Sunset League opener. Newport then plays Marina on Saturday at 2 p.m. at Angel Stadium.

"Each game is always a very, very difficult battle," said Chalmers, whose team finished last in the six-team league last year. "We've got our work cut out for us ... we need to come out Friday in a home game, control our emotions and get off on the right foot. I'm fully confident we can do that."

CdM, which finished second in league to Beckman last season, believes it has momentum. Tyler Chan, Neil Ontiveros and Trent Attyah all had pinch-hit singles late in the game for the Sea Kings.

Not even a venue change could take the momentum away from the Sea Kings on Monday.

"It was kind of like, 'What the heck?'" Martinez said. "We were pretty much ready [to play at] UCI, but to come out and beat them here at their home field is even better. We love it."

Battle of the Bay

Corona del Mar 11, Newport Harbor 0


CdM 502 130 0 — 11 15 0

NH 000 000 0 — 0 4 2

Martinez, Paoletti (5), Shadid (6), Davis (7) and DiFerdinando, Chan (6); Sheldon, Gibbs (4), Littley (6), Mitchell (7) and Crabbe. W – Martinez, 1-0. L – Sheldon, 2-1. 2B – Larsen (CdM), DiFerdinando (CdM), Premer (CdM), Schwartz (CdM). HR – Hartsell (CdM).