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    Tesoro baseball tops Capistrano Valley in extra innings to win South Coast League title
    • April 27, 2023

    MISSION VIEJO — The Tesoro baseball team clinched the outright South Coast League championship by beating Capistrano Valley 9-8 in eight innings Wednesday at Capistrano Valley High.

    Tesoro (19-8, 9-2) won the CIF-SS Division 2 championship and a CIF SoCal Regional championship last season, but it hadn’t  won a league championship since 2018 when the Titans won the Sea View League title.

    “I’m so proud of our boys. We had so much grit today and that has been the story of our season,” Tesoro coach Tony Nieto said. “We missed out on it the last two years and we were one win away in 2021. This was our goal from the very beginning and we had the right guys coming back from last year.”

    “After this long of a wait, it feels amazing to be able to stand on the top of this hill,” senior catcher Carter Jorissen said. “There are so many great teams in this league, so winning it feels great.”

    The Titans gave up six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to lose a four-run lead.

    Capistrano Valley (13-13, 7-4) scored runs on a hit by pitch and an error to cut Tesoro’s lead to 6-4.

    With the bases loaded, Long Beach State signee Reid Montgomery hit a grand slam over the right field wall to give the Cougars an 8-6 lead.

    The score stayed that way until the top of the seventh inning.

    Owen Faust hit a leadoff single to give the Tesoro dugout some energy. Jorissen hit a game-tying, two-run home run over the left field fence to tie the score.

    “We have the guys in the lineup and all we had to do was get the first guy on base,” Jorissen said. “I knew from the first at-bat against him that I saw every pitch he had. I just wanted to get a ball to drive in the gap and I hit it well I guess.”

    Junior Tanner Tobias hit a run-scoring single for Tesoro in the eighth inning to put the Titans in front 9-8.

    Junior Ryan Rios pitched the eighth inning and shut the door for the Titans.

    “Who says baseball isn’t romantic? We brought up Ryan Rios from the junior varsity team last year to pitch a game against Capo Valley and he got the big win to launch us into the playoffs,” Nieto said. “He came up big today in another big moment.”

    Tesoro had a 5-2 lead after two innings. Northwestern signee Jackson Freeman hit two home runs in the first two innings to drive in four runs. Freeman has hit 11 home runs this season, which is a school-record.

    Caden Chergey hit a run-scoring double to give Tesoro a 6-2 lead in the third inning.

    Rhett Chisholm hit a two-run single for Capo Valley in the first inning.

    The Cougars have clinched second place in the league standings.

    “I think this is the top public school league in the county,” Nieto said. “All these teams are good. This is good baseball down here and for us to win shows that we have a culture where the goal is hanging banners and we hung a banner today.”

    The two teams will complete the three game series Friday at Tesoro High.

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    ​ Orange County Register