May 30, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Ocean View, behind Kennedy’s 2-hitter, tops Segerstrom 2-0 in league showdown

Ocean View pitcher Gavin Kennedy tossed a 2-hit complete game shutout against the Segerstrom Jaguars.

Gavin Kennedy of Ocean View fires a pitch in Friday’s Golden West League game (Photos: Fernando M. Donado, For OC Sports Zone).

Despite being only a third of the way through league play, Friday’s baseball game between the Golden West League co-leaders Segerstrom and Ocean View shaped up to be a showdown similar to a CIF-like playoff game.

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

Seahawks ace and Cal State Fullerton-bound Gavin Kennedy tossed a complete game, two-hit shutout to lead Seahawks to a 2-0 victory and giving Ocean View (9-6, 5-0) sole possession of first place.

The Jaguars (8-3, 4-1) had their seven-game winning streak snapped but made the Seahawks and Kennedy earn it as they battled until the final out.

Trailing 2-0 in the top of the seventh inning, Ezekiel Sandoval walked for Segerstrom with one out. He advanced to second when Seahawks third baseman Caleb Hohman’s thrown to second skidded into right field following a grounder hit to him by Anthony Noriega. Sandoval remained at second and Noriega at first on the play.   

Donovan Orozco then flied out to right for the second out of the inning as both runners held. Edwardo Rodriguez followed with a single to left to load the bases. Kennedy then got Kristian Landeros-Sosa to ground into a force out at second to end the game and secure the win.  

“I wasn’t nervous at all when they loaded the bases in the seventh,” said Kennedy, who struck out four and never faced more than five batters in any one inning in the game. “I felt like they were going to be shaky in that situation. I was fully confident. I have experience and I’ve been doing this a long time.”

Seahawks coach Tanner VanMaanen said he also has full confidence in Kennedy.

“Gavin was the MVP of the league last year and we count on him a lot and he does everything we need him to do,” said VanMaanen. “There’s a reason why he’s going to pitch at Cal State Fullerton next season. We know what to expect of him and he doesn’t let us down.”

With a scoreless tie in the bottom of the fifth, Dan Mayorga led off with a walk and was pinch run for by Anthony Capocciama. Alex Peredo came on in relief of starting pitcher Nic Landeros-Sosa, who had not yielded a hit in his four innings of pitching.

Peredo got the next two hitters but Capocciama had advanced to second on the second out of the inning. Peredo then issued an intentional walk to Hohman. Sean Muirhead followed by hammering a two-out RBI single to left scoring Capocciama and giving the Seahawks a 1-0 lead.

On the play, Landeros-Sosa, the Jaguars left fielder, made a strong throw to the plate and it appeared that Capocciama would be tagged out, however Capocciama’s slide knocked the ball free from Orozco and he was ruled safe.

“The throw short hopped me a little but the ball and the runner got there at the same time and he (Capocciama) knocked the ball loose,” Orozco said. “It was a bang-bang play and they got a little luckier than us.”

Kennedy then helped himself by promptly smashing an RBI single to left scoring Hohman, who had alertly advanced to third base on the previous play, and upping the Seahawks lead to 2-0.

“I want to be the clutch guy in that situation,” said Kennedy. “I’ve trained myself not to be nervous.”

Jaguars coach Erasmo Ramirez said he expected a tough game.

“Every time we play Ocean View it’s like a CIF playoff game or the seventh game of the World Series,” said Ramirez. “We know Kennedy is tough and I think we matched up well with him today. It was a game in which one of two hits either way could have given us a different result.”

Ocean View has won six of its last seven games.

-Tom Connolly, For OC Sports Zone