Rob Milo pitched a three-hitter, singled and scored a run Tuesday to lead Laguna Hills High School to a 4-0 Pacific Coast League victory over Orange at Laguna Hills.
Milo (5-0), who made just 77 pitches, faced 23 batters--two over the minimum--as Orange (10-9 6-4) managed only four runners. Milo, who didn't yield a walk, hit Greg Folsom with a pitch in the top of the first to account for the fourth runner.
The victory left Laguna Hills (17-4, 9-1) tied for first with Trabuco Hills with five games to play. The Hawks, who entered this week's play ranked third in this week's Orange County Sportswriters' Assn. prep baseball poll, travel to Orange on Friday.
The Panthers are in third, three games behind.
"This is as well as Milo has pitched all season," said Laguna Hills Coach Jack Hodges. "He wasn't able to pitch until the eighth or ninth game of the season because of back spasms and he struggled sometimes when he would give up runs in his other outings, but today, he was right on. He was really into this game."
Said Orange Coach Ed Howard: "I don't think (Milo) was the best pitcher we faced this season, but he pitched a pretty good game. The last time we faced him, we hit him pretty good, but today, every fly ball we hit was held up by the wind. We had good pitching and fielding today, but our bats fell asleep."
Laguna Hills scored its first two runs in the third. Darren Rogers, who drew a leadoff walk off loser Sean Sutton (2-2), advanced to third on Chris Sheff's double.
Joe Bennett then drove in Rogers with a sacrifice fly. Sheff, who went to third on the sacrifice fly, scored when a throw by center fielder Scott McMahon bounced past third baseman Greg Folsam for an error.
Sutton, who scattered five hits and walked two, gave up two of the hits--Milo's single and Bill Schellenberg's RBI double--in the fourth.
Laguna Hills scored its fourth run in the sixth inning when Jason Thompson, who doubled and was wild pitched to third to start the inning, scored two outs later when Folsam mishandled Mark Wells' grounder for an error.
Orange had singles from John Emigh in the second and Sutton in the third, didn't get another hit until John Rodriguez singled with one out in the seventh. But Ruben Hernandez flied to left and Emigh grounded to Milo.
"This game doesn't change anything between us and Trabuco Hills," said Hodges, whose team closes out the season with two games against the Mustangs, "and Orange (which beat Trabuco Hills earlier in the season) is as tough as anyone in this league. They can hit the ball as well as anyone in this league, and we have to play them as tough as we play against anyone else if we expect to beat them."
Trabuco Hills 3, Costa Mesa 1--Ryan Meridith (3-1) pitched a two-hitter, striking out four, for Trabuco Hills (12-4, 9-1) at TeWinkle Park. Frank Waugh had two hits and an RBI and David Lowery had one hit and an RBI for Trabuco Hills.