Orange High School took advantage of several Costa Mesa errors Thursday to defeat the Mustangs, 4-2, and win the Pacific Coast League baseball championship.
The Panthers finished the regular season with an 11-4 league record (17-8 overall) and will open the Southern Section 2-A playoffs at home next Friday. Costa Mesa closed at 3-11, 6-18.
Orange needed three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning Thursday to come back from a 2-1 deficit and defeat the last-place Mustangs. Costa Mesa, which had upset Orange, 6-2, Tuesday, committed two errors in the inning, both of which led to runs, and Panther designated hitter John Miscovich added an RBI single.
The winning run scored when Kerry Reed went from first to third on Paul Vinci's single to center and came home when Clark Chapman's throw went into the Mustang dugout.
Orange right-hander David Bjorkland (7-2) allowed six hits and was extremely tough in the last two innings in which he allowed only one base runner. He finished the game with five strikeouts and no walks.
Jim Vlcek opened the scoring for Orange, hitting a towering home run just outside the left field foul pole for a 1-0 lead in the fourth.
In other Pacific Coast League action:
Laguna Hills 8, Laguna Beach 3--The Hawks jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first as Chris Sheff, Aaron Arredondo and Mike Smede all doubled at Laguna Hills. Sean Hardy went 3 for 4. Smede won his fourth game in five starts for Laguna Hills (10-5, 16-9).
Trabuco Hills 10, Woodbridge 6--The Mustangs exploded for four runs in the third to topple Woodbridge. Prior to Thursday's game, Trabuco Hills (8-7, 10-9-1) had won its first seven league games then lost eight straight.
In South Coast League play:
Capistrano Valley 8, Irvine 7--Brian Walker's three-run homer in the top of the sixth gave the Cougars an 8-5 lead, and Capistrano Valley (13-3, 22-3) held off the Vaqueros (8-7, 13-12) in the seventh at Irvine.
The Vaqueros rallied in the last inning when Scott Vollmer hit a two-out double, Jim Enochs singled and Jeff Walters singled in a run to make it 8-7. But Walker, who relieved starter Brett Snyder in the sixth, got George Koutures to ground out and end the game.
El Toro 5, Mission Viejo 1--El Toro broke the game open in the sixth, as David Nemeth was involved in scoring three runs at El Toro. Nemeth doubled in two runners then scored himself on a throwing error by the catcher. Mike Hoelker picked up the win for El Toro (7-8, 16-10). Phil Houston took the loss for Mission Viejo (5-10, 14-11).
Dana Hills 1, San Clemenete 0--Left fielder Nick Jimas hit his first home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth to lift Dana Hills (11-4, 17-8-1) over visiting San Clemente. J.B. Hollis pitched a two-hitter, striking out six batters. Andy Greek took the loss for San Clemente which lost its 14th of 15 league games.
In the Freeway League:
Sonora 11, Buena Park 1--With two outs in the third, the Raiders (8-7, 10-13) erupted for seven runs at Sonora in a game moved up one day to avoid conflicting with Sonora's senior prom. David Streiter ignited the outburst with a two-run double. He then stroked a two-run homer in the fifth. Buena Park is 2-13 and 2-20.