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Laguna Beach baseball leans on experience, manufacturing runs with senior heavy roster

Breakers get their first win at home against Mission Viejo 

Laguna Beach shortstop Joey Capo Bianco hits a home run in the fifth inning of a high school baseball game against Mission Viejo, Tuesday,, Feb. 14, 2023 at Laguna Beach High School in Laguna Beach, Calif. Laguna Beach won the game 14-3. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

LAGUNA BEACH — Laguna Beach’s baseball team has seen growing pains. 

Six out of the nine starters began as sophomores. 

But through those years coach Jairo Ochoa is hoping those pains have turned into determination

“Last year they went out there and found some consistency,” Breakers coach Jairo Ochoa said. “This year we want them to compete with confidence.”

Laguna Beach started the year timidly watching Long Beach Poly ring up nine strikeouts this past Saturday. 

Three days later in their home opener, the Breakers made the adjustments to claim a 14-3 win over Mission Viejo in six innings. 

“There was a lot of confidence that came from today and it’s not relying on one thing,” Ochoa said. “We know the results are going to come.”

Laguna Beach sent out senior pitcher Colin Kid to the mound at Skipper Carillo Field and after one shaky inning where he walked and hit a batter, he left them in scoring position and retired the next 13 batters in a row.

“I was just super amped with my fast ball missing up early but I really settled into my change up,” said Kidd, who will be playing for Division I NJIT next year. “That change up in had really good sink to it. 

Kidd threw just 21.2 innings last season but just five earned runs. He finished his first outing throwing 4.2 innings, giving up two earned runs on a 2-RBI single by Jack Boucher. 

“Colln did a great job,” Ochoa said. “This was a momentum for him to show the type of competitor he is and he gave us the opportunity to stay in this ball game.”

The Breakers struck first in the bottom of the fourth inning with an RBI-double by Griffin Ness that led to three runs. 

Mission Viejo answered with three runs in the top of the fifth inning, but that was all the offense it would muster.

Laguna Beach flexed its muscles when senior Joey Capobianco launched a home run over the center field wall. 

“I was hitting on a slider and when it went out it just felt so good,” Capobianco said. 

The next inning, the Breakers added eight more runs with RBI singles by Ben Dawson, Ethan Porter, Noah Liao, among others. Six out of the nine spots in the batting order drove in runs. 

“We aren’t going to rely on the deep ball,” Ochoa said. “We are a team that is going to go out there and find ways to get on guys, move them over and manufacture runs.”

Laguna Beach will continue its season on Thursday when it travels to Tesoro, who is another team full of experience. The next home game for the Breakers comes March 3 against St. Margaret’s.

“Obviously our goal is to go out and hang a banner,” Ochoa said. “We are senior heavy, these guys are talented and we are going to rely on our experience.”

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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