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Corona del Mar sweeps three-game baseball series with University

By Manny Alvarez; Daily Pilot, 04/13/18, 9:00AM PDT


University High couldn't hit Corona del Mar senior Chazz Martinez.

The problem was most of the Trojans' hitters couldn't get the bat off their shoulders.

Martinez, a UC Santa Barbara signee, struck out nine, catching seven of those batters looking, to lead the Sea Kings to a 7-4 Pacific Coast League victory at University on Thursday.

CdM (10-5, 7-2 in league) swept the three-game series with the Trojans, helping the defending league champion stay a game back of first-place Beckman (12-3-1, 8-1).

Martinez threw six strong innings and improved to 3-0. He only gave up two hits, one walk and one earned run, while going one for three with a run batted in, a walk and a stolen base.

"I was trying to hit my spots," Martinez said. "I went inside on a couple guys and they just took a look at it. I was trying to throw as many strikes as possible and see if they could hit it."

While Martinez fooled University (10-7, 2-5 in league), Preston Hartsell led the way on offense. The USC commit went three for four with two RBIs, a double, two stolen bases and three runs scored.

"We got some super clutch hits," Sea Kings coach John Emme said. "Preston drove in two and scored three times. When the top guy puts up a game like that, we are just that much better. It was a good team win."

The Sea Kings knocked in the first run of the game in the top of the first inning thanks to an RBI single to center field by Luc Stuka that sent J.T. Schwartz home.

University tied the game in the bottom half of the inning. Adam Barnett singled to right field, scoring Andie Masotto.

It was all CdM after that.

Hartsell gave the Sea Kings the lead in the third inning. The senior singled to right, stole second base, and then he went to third after University's Brad Hodges balked. Reece Berger's groundout brought Hartsell home.

The Sea Kings added four runs in the fourth inning, giving Martinez plenty of support. Hartsell doubled in half the runs in the inning, and Schwartz singled in one.

"He's a pretty good left-handed pitcher," University coach Mike Gerakos said of Martinez. "He had a pretty good support group … behind him. That's a talented ballclub. They're very good and we have very little margin of error. Anything that we gave them, they took advantage of it."

Martinez was unhittable following the first inning. There was a stretch where Martinez struck out six of 10 batters looking.

The only issue was his pitch count. Martinez threw 100 pitches, and the Sea Kings brought in Brandel Turner to start the seventh.

University took advantage, scoring three runs. But Turner got two outs and Jarrett Thompson got the last out to record the save.

Next for CdM is the Newport Rib Co. Tournament. The Sea Kings, ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, will host two games on Saturday. The first is against La Quinta at 10:30 a.m. and the second is against Costa Mesa at 3 p.m.

"We're going to come together," Martinez said. "We're going to try and get as many hits. We're looking good. We have to keep this rolling."