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Sea Kings win via shutout again

By David Carrillo Peñaloza, 03/22/17, 3:00PM PDT


John Emme earned a well-deserved shower from his Corona del Mar High baseball players last Friday. After winning his 300th career game as CdM's coach, the Sea Kings doused Emme with a Gatorade bucket.

It seemed as though it would be his players' turn to get wet in their next Pacific Coast League game.

The Sea Kings avoided a downpour, as it only drizzled for most of Tuesday's contest at home with Woodbridge. It rained enough for Emme to call a safety squeeze to break a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth inning, believing the umpires might call the game after one more inning.

The umps let the teams play, and Chazz Martinez went on to throw a four-hitter in CdM's 5-0 win.

The left-hander struck out five, needing 100 pitches to go the distance for the second time this season. Martinez (2-1), a UC Santa Barbara commit, walked three.

"I felt on top of my game today," Martinez said. "One run was all I needed today."

The Sea Kings supplied that run playing small ball.

With runners on the corners and one out in the fourth, Hayden Thompson laid down a bunt toward the mound. Left-handed starter John Schultz charged at it, scooping up the ball and shoveling it toward catcher Dylan Smith, but Alex Shadid slid in safely as the ball landed a couple of feet short of the plate.

Two plays at the plate went in CdM's favor, costing the defending league champion Warriors two runs.

The other three runs came off the bat of JT Schwartz.

The UCLA commit tagged a two-run home run to right-center field in the fifth inning. An inning later, the left-handed hitter pulled a double toward the right-field line, driving in a run to make it 5-0.

The Sea Kings have outscored their opponents, 15-0, in the first two league games. They stayed atop the league with Beckman at 2-0.

The Sea Kings (6-3 overall) travel to Beckman, ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, next Tuesday. Before that, CdM is at home against University on Friday.

"It's nice to start league with back-to-back shutouts. My coaches said it's hard to lose that way," Emme said with a grin. "[University] is much improved. They will have their ace [Jacob Collins] on the mound."

Outside of Schwartz, who went two for three with a walk, CdM had a hard time against Schultz. The senior had only allowed one hit, a leadoff single to Reece Berger, before the fifth inning.

Schultz got into trouble after starting the fifth by hitting junior Preston Hartsell with his first pitch. It marked the second time Schultz nailed the USC commit.

Before Schultz fired another pitch, Smith went out to visit Schultz. Schwartz expected Schultz to throw him a fastball, and he did, high and in, and Schwartz turned on it, hitting his first home run of the year.

Schultz (1-1) exited after Martinez singled. The Warriors brought in Eric Cardillo, who got the next two batters out. By then, Lucas Ciachurski, pinch-running for Martinez, made it to second base on Thompson's sacrifice bunt.

From second, Ciachurski found his way home.

Cardillo threw a wild pitch that Smith had a hard time locating behind him. Ciachurski didn't stop after rounding third. He dove head first to avoid Cardillo's tag to give CdM a 4-0 lead.

"He didn't really hustle to the plate, and Lucas came around and saw it," Emme said. "He's an aggressive kid."

The Sea Kings have been playing well all season. If not for three straight losses, each by the same 4-3 score, before league, they easily could be undefeated.

They could have celebrated Emme's 300th win as early as March 10, but the Sea Kings lost at home in the Newport Elks Foothill Division finale to Eastvale Roosevelt. Then four days later, CdM dropped the Battle of the Bay doubleheader to rival Newport Harbor at UC Irvine.

No. 300 for Emme, in his 20th season, came in a 10-0 win at Irvine last Friday.

"He wasn't too emotional. He knew it was going to happen eventually this year," Schwartz said of Emme reaching the milestone. "It was a really special moment for the whole team and Coach Emme.

"He was just happy for us that we got the win and started out league well."