The Pacific Coast League race got tighter Wednesday as Woodbridge High School defeated Orange, 5-3, in a game marred by a postgame brawl at Bellah Field in Irvine.
The victory moves Woodbridge (8-4, 13-9) within one game of first-place Orange (9-3, 15-7) and the teams meet again Friday at Orange.
As the teams were shaking hands after the game, players from both teams started shouting obscenities at each other. Three fights broke out before the coaches could restore order.
The outburst stemmed from an incident in the seventh inning, when John Miscovich, Orange's designated hitter, collided with Warrior first baseman Rob Lee after grounding out to second. The two came close to trading blows.
"This was a very unfortunate incident," said Mel Baty, Orange coach. "It was baseball's version of a square dance. But as far as I'm concerned, this is a 14-inning game with the other seven coming at our place Friday."
When the two teams met earlier this season, Orange beat Woodbridge, 17-8.
Wednesday, Warrior pitchers Jim Burke and Eric Brougher combined for a seven-hitter. Burke (2-1) pitched four innings, giving up three runs, before Brougher came on with two runners on and no outs in the fifth. He shut the door on the Panthers, allowing just four hits in picking up the save.
After Orange scored a run in the top of the first, Woodbridge answered with two in the bottom of the inning and knocked out Orange starter Aaron Vanderaa (6-2) in the second.
Stan Machesky's RBI single chased Vanderaa and gave the Warriors' a 3-1 lead. George Allen then singled in a run off reliever Josh Hamilton. The Warriors added another run when Mike Sorenson scored on a fielder's choice to make it 5-1.
Sorenson had three of the eight Woodbridge hits and scored two runs, and teammate Mike Fila added two hits.
In other Pacific Coast League games:
Laguna Beach 7, Trabuco Hills 4--Scott McDonald hit a two-run homer in the second and Keith McDonald hit a solo homer in the sixth to help the Artists end a seven-game losing streak. Neil Collins picked up the win for Laguna Beach (2-10, 5-14.) Trabuco Hills is 7-5 and 9-7-1.
Laguna Hills 2, Costa Mesa 1 (8 innings)--Right fielder Sean Hardy's one-out, bases-loaded single scored Alan Short with the game-winner for the Hawks at Laguna Hills. Jon Willard (6-3) threw a three-hitter and catcher Aaron Arredondo had two hits, including a first-inning RBI double, for Laguna Hills (7-5, 13-9). Jason Mikalauskis (4-5) pitched a six-hitter but took the loss. Mike Crowe hit a first-inning home run for Costa Mesa (3-9, 5-16).
In the Sunset League:
Ocean View 7, Marina 1--Mike Fyhrie (9-1) pitched a three-hitter and struck out eight as the Seahawks clinched their third consecutive Sunset League title at Ocean View. Sophomore Gary Christopherson was 2 for 2 with a three-run home run to erase a 1-0 Marina lead in fourth inning. David Holdridge was 3 for 4 with two doubles and two RBIs and Dick Fresca and Fred Fried had two hits and an RBI to help Ocean View (11-1, 17-4). Dan Jensen gave up six hits and struck out eight for Marina (2-10, 8-14).
Fountain Valley 7, Huntington Beach 4--Rob Flinn allowed four hits and struck out five while pitching a complete game for the Barons at Huntington Beach. Flinn was 3 for 3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs and Cal Davis was 2 for 2 with a three-run homer in the first inning to help Fountain Valley (5-7, 9-11). Brian Mcleod was 2 for 4 with two-out two-run RBI to lead the Oilers (4-7-1, 11-8-1).
Westminster 6, Edison 0--John Gonzales pitched a two-hitter, striking out seven, to win his fifth game in six starts. Westminster (7-4-1, 16-5-1) broke open a 1-0 game in the fifth when Scott Turner, who got on base on an error, scored on an error. Albert Rodriguez then hit his fifth homer of the season. Ben Mendoza doubled in Ryan Klesko, then scored when Brian Stubbs hit a two-run homer. Stubbs was 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
In the Century League:
Santa Ana Valley 10, Canyon 7--Santa Ana Valley took a 5-0 lead in the first inning at Canyon. Tony Vargas was 3 for 4 with an RBI, Pete Perez was 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs and Manny Martinez was 2 for 4 with three runs scored to lead the Falcons (6-6, 9-12). John Cummings was 3 for 4 with a triple and three RBIs to lead the Commanches. Darren O'Banion and Dan Puskas each went 2 for 4 with two runs scored to help Canyon (7-5, 14-7).
Santa Ana 6, El Modena 3--The Saints scored three runs in the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie at El Modena. Oscar Luna was 2 for 3 with two RBIs, Alex Espinoza was 2 for 4 with an RBI and Ray Lopez (4-2) gave up three runs and five hits in a complete game for Santa Ana (6-5, 13-8). Phebes Rhine took the loss for El Modena (2-10, 5-14).
Villa Park 3, Foothill 2--Trent Eye drove in Tony Inga as Villa Park (9-3, 16-8) tied the score in the sixth. Pat Riley then singled in Jason Wilkerson for the winning run. Tom Kelly, who won his eighth of 11 games, struck out seven batters.
In the Academy League: