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San Clemente senior pitcher Kaden Giles throws a fastball during a high school baseball game against Aliso Niguel in San Clemente, Monday, March 14, 2022. Giles has knee problems that could end his career at any time but threw five shutout innings in San Clemente's 11-5 win. (Ryan Kuhn,

Aliso Niguel

Pitcher Kaden Giles making the most of his senior season as San Clemente takes down Aliso Niguel

Giles throws five shutout innings with 6 Ks in an 11-5 win

SAN CLEMENTE — San Clemente senior Kaden Giles throws every pitch with a purpose.

Deep down he knows any pitch could be the last one he ever throws in high school. 

“My knee has kind of come out of the socket whenever so basically I’m out here just playing for fun rather than just stressing about every outing,” Giles said. “I’m just enjoying every day.”

Giles and his family have made peace with his knee problem. He is having surgery to fix it in May but in the meantime he’s not taking any of his pitches for granted and relishing all his successes. 

Take Monday afternoon against Aliso Niguel for example. 

Giles got his first start of the season and threw five shut out innings, allowing just three hits.

The Tritons offense had his back as they celebrated an 11-5 victory. 

“I’m just excited to be out here. Who knows when I’ll throw my last pitch,” Giles said. 

San Clemente coach Dave Gellatly said because of Giles’ recent knee injuries he has seen very limited time. He has thrown just two innings this season but brings experience being one of a few returners the Tritons have on their roster. 

“He had a great outing,” Gellatly said. “That’s why he’s our best.”

Giles was on a 60-pitch limit but worked quickly as he retired the first seven batters. 

Aliso Niguel’s Aaron Orwat and Hayden Orrin hit back-to-back singles but Giles was not stifled as he retired the next two batters to end the inning.

For not pitching much this season, the senior finished with six strikeouts, his most since striking out eight last season against Trabuco Hills. 

“My fastball just seemed to be working today,” Giles said. “I just kept throwing it and I was happy.”

It didn’t take long for San Clemente’s offense to back up its ace when Chase Brunson laced an RBI-single to left field in the first inning. 

The Tritons also flexed their muscles as Nolan Reid and Ryan Dunbar homered in the second inning. 

Dunbar entered the afternoon with just one extra base this season but got ahold of the second pitch pitch.

“I saw what I liked and swung through,” said Dunbar, who finished 3-for-4 with 3 RBIs and a triple shy of the cycle. 

[Best_Wordpress_Gallery id=”176″ gal_title=”San Clemente vs. Aliso Niguel baseball – March 14″]

San Clemente didn’t let up as they batted around in the third inning, scoring five more runs. 

Pierce Brown, Gayden Dill and Jake Wood all recorded RBI hits as the Tritons were in firm control. 

Aliso Niguel took advantage of the pitching change in the top of the sixth as it plated five runs over the next two innings.

Seniors Tyler Doney and Shaun McCaghren doubled home combined three runs, but the momentum wouldn’t last long. 

In the bottom half of the inning Cole Geach came pff the bench to pinch hit and hit a towering home run over the right field wall to seal the win. 

The Wolverines manufactured two runs in the top of the seventh inning and will seek redemption during the rematch in Aliso Viejo on Wednesday. 

“I really liked our intensity especially after not playing for 17 days. You never know with high school kids,” Gellatly said with a smile. “I think it helped because we were battling some injuries.” 

Both teams will conclude the quick two game Sea View League series  before the Tritons spend next week playing in a tournament starting at home against Tustin.

Aliso Niguel will travel to Ocean View on Saturday before resuming league play against Trabuco Hills on March 23. 

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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