MISSION VIEJO — When Capo Valley senior starting pitcher Austin Taylor came off the mound on Wednesday afternoon, he hugged his catcher and made sure to show appreciation to his offense.
“They really helped me out,” he said. “My defense too.”
The Cougars bats shinned brightly on a brisk, cloudy day at Trabuco Hills High School. They scored a season high 10 runs and shut out the Mustangs in the process to remain perfect in the South Coast League.
“The kids played great,” Capo Valley assistant coach Chuck Menzhuber said. “Pitching was includible. Austin threw a lot of strikes and the defense was solid behind him.”
Menzhuber filled in for head coach Adam Sorgi because of an illness but said it was not serious and Sorgi should return soon.
Capo Valley (12-8, 5-0) wasted little time getting on the board as leadoff hitter Boston Baro walked and then loaded the bases on a single and an error. All Rhett Chisholm had to do was lay down a ground ball to score the game’s first run.
Over the next two innings the Cougars increased their lead even more with RBI singles by Baro and Matt Radogna in the second and then Mikey Alva crushing a fastball over the left field wall for a -2-run home run.
“We talked about swinging the bats yesterday and the kids showed a lot of patience at the plate,” Menzhuber said. “They drove the ball really well.”
That was all Taylor needed.
After allowing three singles over the first and second innings, Taylor found his groove. He retired 15 of the next 17 batters, his only blemishes being a walk to Trevor Kazahaya and a single by Dylan Ball.
“Everything was working pretty well,” said Taylor who also struck out 10 batters. “Everything just came together.”
Capo Valley’s offense continued to put pressure on the Mustangs as Radogna single home Tyler Laderman and then Chisholm hit a 3-run home run.
One more run in the top of the sixth inning gave the Cougars their largest victory since a 15-2 win over Segerstrom in 2021.
Capo Valley will conclude the three-game series with Trabuco Hills on Friday and will play a non-league game against Gahr on Saturday.
Gahr is ranked No. 6 in California according to MaxPreps.
“We just need to stay consistent and stay with our team,” Menzhuber said. “These guys are having high quality at bats. We have three quality starts so all we have to do if our job on offense and get runs anyway we can.”