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Same troubles stop Rebs

Baseball: Familiar ills of defense, pitching aid in Prep’s 8-3 loss to Capistrano Valley Christian in first round.

May 22, 2010|By Charles Rich

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Bouts of inconsistency with defense and pitching lingered throughout the regular season for the Flintridge Prep baseball team.

The Rebels went into the postseason hoping to wipe the slate clean. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t reverse the trend.

A couple of defensive breakdowns and yielding eight stolen bases translated into an 8-3 loss to Capistrano Valley Christian on Friday afternoon in a CIF Southern Section Division VI first-round contest at San Juan Sports Park.

Flintridge Prep Coach Buzz Cook, whose team finished at 12-12 and in second place in the Prep League, said the Rebels couldn’t overcome their season-long struggles in both facets.

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“Again, it’s my biggest issue with defense and pitching,” Cook said. “We made too many mistakes early in the game that shouldn’t have occurred.

“Then you look at their team and they were very aggressive on defense and we were playing on our heels.”

Flintridge Prep scored two runs in the top of the first on a throwing error by Capistrano Valley Christian sophomore pitcher Sam Eichler (10-1).

Kyle McDonald led off with a walk and Royce Park doubled with no outs against the left-hander, who then misfired to first on a come-backer and allowed McDonald and Park to score.

Then the Eagles (20-6-1) began to make things happen in their half of the first.

Park (5-5) made an errant throw to first on a grounder back to the mound with a runner on first. That put runners on first and third before Park, a sophomore right-hander, uncorked a wild pitch to cut the lead to 2-1.

“That’s a play that Royce should have made,” Cook said. “That play set the tone.”

Then Capistrano Valley Christian, which captured the San Joaquin League championship and will meet St. Anthony in a second-round game Tuesday, began to use its speed to further frustrate Flintridge Prep.

The Eagles, who entered the contest with 119 stolen bases, stole three of their eight bases in the game to help take a 4-2 lead in the second.

A fielder’s choice tied the game at 2 before Niko Knechtel doubled in a run to make it 3-2. An infield single by Nathan Antoun extended the lead to 4-2.

“We have some guys with above-average speed,” Capistrano Valley Christian Coach Clemente Bonilla said. “We knew that [Park] had some good stuff, but we felt like we could make things happen.

“We tried to make him throw quicker to the plate, so maybe that would have an effect on him.”

The Eagles got a three-run home run from Jacen Carpenter in the fourth off reliever Steve Fleming to make it 8-2. Flintridge Prep closed out the scoring in the fifth on a run-scoring single by McDonald, who finished with two of the Rebels’ five hits.

“They did take advantage of some plays early,” McDonald said. “They are a smart team with some fast guys.

“We had an up and down season. We met some expectations. We made a good run against a good team.”

Flintridge Prep received one hit apiece from Park, Connor McCann and Nick Ostiller.


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