May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Irvine takes Newport Elks division title with 5-2 win over Oxford Academy

Irvine Coach Gabriel Cota meets with his players after Friday’s victory (Photos: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

Irvine High’s baseball team didn’t receive a trophy for winning its division at the Newport Elks Tournament Friday.

They didn’t seem to need one.

There were still plenty of smiles and high fives among the Vaqueros after they notched a 5-2 victory over Oxford Academy of Orange at Irvine.

To see the slide show, please click on the first photo

Irvine (5-1) claimed the Orange division title of the large tournament, which is broken up into different divisions.

“It was a good week. We played last Saturday and just didn’t play to our standards,” said Irvine Coach Gabriel Cota. “I think that was good for our team to see that, that we have to come out and compete every day.

“They bounced back and they rebounded and got four wins in a week which was pretty cool. I think the best thing we do is just compete. I think that’s our identity. We have some guys who are definitely good players and some guys who compete up on the bump every day. They’re working and grinding every day and that confidence shows up when we’re in games and in tight spots.”

Starting pitcher Miles Malohn got the victory, allowing one run in 3 1/3 innings of work. Edward Del Pozo, Edward Kole and Ryan Barlow held Oxford Academy (3-1) to one run the rest of the way.

Irvine jumped out to an early lead in the first inning with two runs. Patrick Hackworth was hit by a pitch and Marc Filia walked. Casey Kudell then followed with a two-run double to give the Vaqueros an early lead.

In the bottom of the second inning, Camron Hicks walked and Jackson Lyman doubled. Then shortstop Grant Lockwood lined a double down the left field line to drive in two runs and put the Vaqueros ahead 4-0.

It was frustrating afternoon for Oxford Academy which stranded 13 runners.

However, in the fourth inning, Steven Hogencamp singled to drive in Luke Hogencamp, who had singled.

In the fifth inning, Oxford Academy loaded the bases, but Irvine ended the threat with a double play.

In the seventh inning, Michael Flores drove in a run with a double but Barlow got Brandon Imai to line out to end the game after the Patriots had runners on second and third.

“We had some opportunities but couldn’t the big hit when we needed it,” said Oxford Academy Coach Cory Williams. “I think we left double digit guys in scoring position. I thought they (Irvine) were really good offensively and capitalized on opportunities they had and were able to hit a few extra base hits and made a couple nice plays on the field defensively.

“They’re a well coached group. But I was proud of us competing. We fell behind early and tried to claw back into it and just couldn’t get the big hit to change the tide.”

Oxford Academy’s starting pitcher Luke Hogencamp battled on the mound, pitching the entire game, allowing eight hits.

Third baseman John Allen had a single and a double and Elliot Jun and Leonard Memon also contributed hits for Irvine.

Oxford Academy wound up with nine hits off the four Irvine pitchers. Luke Hogencamp and Jesus Gonzalez had two hits for Oxford Academy.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone;