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San Clemente junior outfielder Rhyn Chambers (4) smiles after hitting a home run and crossing home plate during a high school baseball game against Irvine HIgh School in the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Invitational at the Great Park in Irvine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. San Clemente won the game, 8-4. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)

Baseball

San Clemente baseball hopes success at Ryan Lemmon Invitational will continue on into league play

Tritons defeat Irvine, faces Elsinore on Wednesday

IRVINE — San Clemente baseball coach  knows his players are in for a challenging few weeks. 

They still have a three-game series with Trabuco Hills that could very well determine who will win the Sea View League. 

So this week, Gellatly is using the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Invitational at the Great Park to challenge his players. 

After all, he knows there’s still plenty to improve on despite coming back to defeat Irvine High School, 8-4. 

“These guys do just enough to win but if they are going to be successful, it has to be more than ‘just enough to win,” Gellatly said. “We aren’’t going to get that luck when we go back into the league.”

The Tritons entered Tuesday winning their first two games against Marina and Viewpoint from Bountiful, Utah, but was faced with adversity early. 

Junior outfielder Rhyn Chambers crushed a home run to left field, but the Vaqueros answered in the bottom half of the inning when it took advantage of a balk and fielding error.

The Tritons regained the lead in the second inning but Irvine once again had an answer. This time it pilled on three more runs that was capped off by a 2-run home run by Ian Hew.

San Clemente sophomore outfielder Jake Wood hits the ball during a high school baseball game against Irvine HIgh School at the Ryan Lemmon Foundation Invitational in Irvine, Tuesday, April 5, 2022. (Ryan Kuhn, SOCoPrepSports.com)
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San Clemente senior starter Ryan O’Connor quickly struck out the next two batters but he knew his team was looking up at a deficit. 

The thing about this group is that we are young so we are going to go through games like this but we are maturing every day,” Gellatly said. 

San Clemente finally woke up its bats in the sixth inning when Chambers drew a walk that brought home the tying run.

All junior outfielder Chase Brunson had to do was line a single up the middle. Sophomore Pearce Brown doubled home two more runs just for insurance. 

“We fought back today. It was more of a team win,” said Brunson, who leads the Tritons in hitting, batting .375. “It was a solid team win.”

The Tritons finished with just six hits but capitalized on 10 walks and two errors. 

Now they enter the final day of the tournament undefeated along with Woodbridge, El Modena, Esperanza and Villa Park.

“Hopefully we can get after it tomorrow,” Gellatly said. “I’m just asking them to play hard and give their best effort. If we can do that we will be successful.”

The Tritons will face Elsinore at the Great Park Stadium at 4 p.m.

Born and raised in Dana Point, Ryan went to Dana Hills High School. He graduated from Sacramento State University in 2014 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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