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A Winning Plan Gives Aliso Niguel First Title


It's easy to understand why four-year plans are all the rage at Aliso Niguel.

Last year was the fourth year of varsity football for the Wolverines, who won their first Pacific Coast League title, and also won the section Division VIII championship.

This season was the fourth year of varsity baseball for Aliso Niguel. And Friday, the Wolverines wrapped up their first league baseball title with a 7-3 victory over visiting University.

"Any first is huge when you're building a program," Aliso Niguel Coach Mike Chapman said. "And sometimes winning the first league championship is the hardest thing because your kids have never been there."

University had won two of the last three league titles, but this season is trying to hold onto third.

"They deserve it this season," University Coach Chris Conlin said. "They have a very good program, very good coaches and very good players."

It was a moral victory for University (14-10, 7-6) to keep Aliso Niguel (18-6, 13-0) under double digits. In the three games before Friday, the Wolverines scored 71 runs. In Thursday's 20-7 victory over the Trojans, Aliso Niguel scored 19 runs in the first inning.

The Wolverines moved out to a 4-0 lead after three innings against sophomore Matt Gamble (7-4), but he kept Aliso Niguel in check long enough for University to get close.

And the Trojans did, closing to 4-3 in the sixth on a two-run homer by Steve Nolan, who had three of University's four hits.

Although University loaded the bases with one out, Drew Parkin--who won his 11th game Thursday--relieved starter Robert Devin (1-4) and struck out Bill Pike and Kevin Conlin to preserve the lead.

Three more Wolverines runs in the bottom of the sixth provided the necessary cushion.

Aliso Niguel was led by Nick Orlandos, who drove in three runs with a homer and a single, and Jose Morales, who had three of the Wolverines' 11 hits.

In other Pacific Coast League games:

Laguna Hills 8, Costa Mesa 3--Josh Pierson pitched a four-hitter for host Laguna Hills and hit a home run in the sixth.

Estancia 9, Laguna Beach 3--David Chavero had two hits and scored three runs for Estancia (4-16, 3-10).

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