July 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Big first inning lifts Placentia past Santa Ana in Bronco 12-and-under sectional opener

Placentia starter Liam McMillan fires a pitch to Santa Ana’s Daniel Ochoa in Friday’s game. (Photos: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Placentia Pony Bronco’s 12-and-under all-stars scored five runs in the first inning and went on to defeat Santa Ana 13-1 in the opening round of the sectional tournament Friday evening at Harvard Park in Irvine.

Placentia moves on to the second round Saturday at noon. Santa Ana needs a win Saturday morning at 10 a.m. vs. Irvine to stay alive in the five-team double elimination tournament.

Placentia had 12 hits in the game which was called after five innings due to the run rule.

“Get a good pitch and put on a good swing on it, that’s kind of what we teach them, right,” said Placentia Pony Coach Spencer Oborn.

To see additional photos, click on the first picture:

In the bottom of the first inning, Luca Giano led off with a double, stole third and scored on a groundout by Drew Baranick. Declon Goosey singled, stole second and eventually came around to score on a wild pitch.

Kegan Glenn had a two-run single and Madden Zaha drove in a run with a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0.

After that, Placentia looked to start pitcher Liam McMillan, who pitched three shutout innings and struck out seven before Santa Ana scored a run in the fourth inning. Baranick came on to pitch in the fourth, worked out of a bases loaded jam and shutout Santa Ana in the fifth inning.

“McMillan threw some strikes, which is always good to get ahead and stay ahead,” Oborn said. “Both he and Baranick threw the ball well.”

McMillan also had an RBI single in Placentia’s three-run second inning. Placentia added a run in the third inning and four more in the fourth, including an RBI single by Jackson Esparza, who was 3 for 3 with two runs scored.

Gavin Lara had an RBI single in the fourth inning to drive in Evan Vega, who reached on a walk for Santa Ana’s run.

The tournament, hosted by Irvine Pony Baseball, continues through Sunday with the championship scheduled for 10 a.m. Los Alamitos defeated Irvine 10-0 in the other game Friday.

The top two teams advance to the regional tournament next week.

—Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com