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Capo Valley pitcher Owen Geiss throws a strike during a high school baseball game against San Juan Hills, Friday, Feb. 111, 2023 at San Juan Hills High School in San Juan Capistrano, Calif. Capo Valley won the game 2-1 (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

Baseball

Capo Valley baseball leans on pitching, experience as it looks to repeat as South Coast League champs 

Cougars start the season defeating San Juan Hills

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO — Capo Valley’s baseball coach Adam Sorgi knew his pitchers would be a strength this season.

And on Opening Day against San Juan Hills it didn’t take long to for them to show why.

Senior Owen Geiss threw five innings of shutout baseball as the Cougars celebrated a 2-1 victory against San Juan Hills on Saturday afternoon. The only hit he gave up with a single up the middle to Zach Doyle.

“It’s just great to be out here,” said Geiss, who has committed to Long Beach State. “I kept pounding the zone and I felt pretty good today.”

Capo Valley graduated two of its top pitchers last season in Brady Disbro and Mason McGwire. 

While McGwire is starting his pro career after being drafted in the eighth round by the Chicago Cubs and Disbro playing for Ole Miss, Sorgi will feature another one-two punch this season. 

Austin Taylor relieved Geiss  in the top of the sixth inning and claimed the save.

“Those are our guys right there,” Sorgi said. “We wanted to get their feet wet early in the season and they both pitched well.”

Capo Valley is coming off two consecutive South Coast League titles and showed experience in the third inning when Michael Yousef and Cody Zippe led off with singles and after a walk to Ethan Geiss, Reid Montgomery hit a sacrifice fly to take the lead. 

“This is one of those teams where we can certainly put up some runs,” Sorgi said. “We have returners on offense but conditions were tough and give San Juan credit. They were a good test for us today. 

The Cougars’ lineup might look differently than last season without Ruben Lopez, Matthew Deutsch and Jackson Wear but the returning players know what is expected wearing black and gold. 

“We know there is always a target on our back,” Sorgi said. These kids embrace that challenge.”

Capo Valley scored its second run in the fourth inning when Buster Reinhart reached second on a fielding error and one batter later Migchael Walshe doubled him in

“This is a good opportunity to get some time for some of our younger players,” Sorgi said. “I was proud f them.”

Capo Valley will also eventually get some help from transfer shortstop Boston Baro.

Baro played last season with Capo Valley Christian where he batted .463 with 2 home runs, 10 doubles and 21 RBIs but will have to sit out for almost two months because of transfer rules. 

“Adding Boston really helps our team,” Geiss said. “He’s that big bat in the order.”

San Juan Hills mounted a comeback with Braden Lucas hitting a sacrifice fly but Zach Haugsland was stranded on second base after Corbin Nichols grounded out. 

Capo Valley continues its season with four more road games, the first next Thursday against King High School in Riverside.

“Everyone is working hard and we trust each other,” Geiss said. “I think we can win league for a third time.”

Ryan was born and raised in Dana Point went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University with a BA in Journalism. Throughout his career as a sports journalist, he has covered high schools, colleges, and professional teams. After working for multiple newspapers in as many states, he came to the conclusion that what he really wanted was to make sure the high schools in his hometown area got the sports coverage they deserved. Follow him on Twitter @rskuhn

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