Bob Zamora, Capistrano Valley High School baseball coach, witnessed a rarity in the fourth inning of Tuesday's game against Irvine--Tommy Adams, his speedy leadoff batter, hit into a double play.
It was the first time this season the Cougar outfielder had been doubled up, but Adams returned to his familiar form the next time he came to the plate. He hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to lift Capistrano Valley to a 4-1 victory over Irvine in a South Coast League game at Capistrano Valley.
That was the Tommy Adams that Zamora has come to know--and love. The one who has hit eight homers and knocked in 22 runs this season, the one who singled in the first inning, not the Adams who struck out in the second and grounded into a double play in the fourth.
"He has a lot of pride, and for him to strike out and hit into a double play really bothered him," Zamora said. "If he looks bad in one at-bat, he'll bear down the next time and not let it happen again."
Adams was lucky to have even reached the plate in the sixth. With one out and a runner on first, the No. 9 batter, Matt Spence, hit a hard grounder that went through the legs of third baseman Marlon Bringas. Instead of an inning-ending double play, the Cougars had runners on first and second.
Adams then slammed Brian Brocoff's high curveball over the 365-foot sign in center field to break a 1-1 tie and clinch the league championship for the second-ranked Cougars (12-2, 21-3). It is Capistrano Valley's fifth league title in the past seven years.
Junior left-hander Brian Walker, who relieved starter Lance August in the fourth inning and retired 12 straight batters, picked up the victory. Brocoff, a senior right-hander who pitched a seven-hitter, was the loser.
Capistrano Valley scored a run in the first inning when Adams singled, was sacrificed to second by Chris Ashbach and came home on Marcel Durand's double. But the Cougars were silent for the next four innings as Brocoff kept Capistrano Valley off-balance with his slow curves and the Vaqueros made several fine defensive plays.
Irvine shortstop Terry Rahmatulah made a nice play to turn Adams' one-hopper into a double play and Bringas dived to his left to stop Ashbach's grounder and threw to first in time for the out in the fifth.
Irvine (8-6, 13-11) scored in the second inning when Nick Nikolenko, Rahmatulah and Bringas singled and George Koutures walked. But the rally ended when Jim Enochs grounded back to the pitcher.
Dana Hills 12, San Clemente 3--Greg Erickson hit a grand slam in the third inning, and J.B. Hollis hit a three-run homer in the second to help the Dolphins (10-4, 16-8-1) defeat the Tritons (1-13, 3-18-1) at San Clemente. Senior right-hander Brian Hatch ( 7-2) pitched a six-hitter and struck out 12.
El Toro 8, Mission Viejo 4--Tony Arnone hit a three-run home run in the first and Troy Cobb hit a solo home run in the fifth but it wasn't enough for the Diablos (5-9, 14-9) at home. El Toro (6-8, 15-10) moved into fourth place with the victory.