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    San Juan Hills baseball continues shutout streak with league win over Aliso Niguel
    • March 14, 2024

    ALISO VIEJO — Winning baseball games is much easier when the other team doesn’t score any runs.

    San Juan Hills recorded its fourth consecutive shutout in a 1-0 win over Aliso Niguel in a Sea View League game Wednesday at Aliso Niguel High.

    The Stallions (11-1, 2-0) haven’t allowed more than one run in 10 consecutive games and haven’t allowed a run in 33 innings.

    “It’s been fun to watch our pitchers just compete,” San Juan Hills coach Bret LeVier said. “It’s nice to have the pitching depth that we have.”

    San Juan Hills also beat Aliso Niguel 1-0 Tuesday in the first game of the two-game series. In that game, Aliso Niguel had the bases loaded in the seventh inning with no outs. The Stallions managed to get out of that inning with no damage.

    “My blood pressure isn’t going to go down if we keep having to win 1-0,” LeVier said. “We know that you have to win one-run games in this league and it’s tough.”

    UC Irvine signee Dane Grant pitched five shutout innings with five hits allowed and six strikeouts.

    “Nobody wants to let up a run. It’s like a game for the pitchers right now,” Grant said. “It feels great and we don’t see ourselves losing right now.”

    Brown University commit Drew Nelson relieved Grant and pitched two scoreless innings to earn the save.

    Aliso Niguel (6-4, 2-2) was able to get runners on the basepaths, but stranded seven runners Wednesday, five of them in scoring position.

    “They don’t give in when there are guys in scoring position or if there is a runner on third with less than two outs,” LeVier said. “It seems like they get a little tougher and they grind out those at-bats.”

    Aliso Niguel nearly scored the tying run in the seventh inning. The Wolverines had a runner on third with one out when a line drive was hit to right field and Ryder Stowasser made a diving catch to prevent a run from scoring.

    The Stallions scored their lone run in the top of the fourth when Stowasser scored on a run-scoring single by Sorrell Rubin.

    Brandon Tatch pitched well for Aliso Niguel, allowing one run on five hits with four strikeouts through five innings.

    Connor Etnire threw two scoreless innings of relief for the Wolverines.

    Tanner Kessler had two hits for San Juan Hills and Jake Vuoso had the only extra base hit of the game. Corbin Nichols had a single and a stolen base for the Stallions.

    Brandon Schaff had two hits for the Wolverines with a stolen base.

    San Juan Hills is off to its best start in school history and has some time to enjoy the success. The Stallions have a week off before playing El Toro in a league game Wednesday, March 20.

    Aliso Niguel will host Peninsula and Sunny Hills in nonleague games on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

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    ​ Orange County Register