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By STEVEN BARAN
UHS Boys Baseball completed pre-league play in the 34th annual Newport Elks Tournament, where some of the best teams from every league in the CIF Southern Section face off in a week-long double elimination bracket.
“We knew going into this week that we would have some tough match-ups in our bracket,” head coach Chris Conlin (Physical Education Dept.) said. “The biggest obstacle of this tournament is that teams are often forced to play on consecutive days against teams from different sides of the county. This makes it very hard to conserve pitching for the regular season, which is right around the corner.”
The Trojans began tournament play with a 4-1 home win against San Juan Hills High School (SJHHS). Jacob Collins (Jr.), who is currently leading PCL in pre-league strikeouts and ERA, earned his second complete game of the season, extending his scoreless streak to 18 consecutive innings.
After their win against SJHHS, the Trojans were matched up to play the following day against their PCL rivals, Beckman High School (BHS). “Even though it wasn’t a league game, every guy wanted to prove to Beckman that we are a team to watch out for in league,” shortstop Andie Masotto (So.) said. The Trojans were not able to score a run against BHS, and lost the game 0-11.
“Despite what the final score may lead someone to believe, we are definitely able to go toe to toe against Beckman, as last year’s league play proved,” second baseman Alex Uy (Sr.) said. “I’m confident that we will use this loss as motivation for league, and I have confidence that our experienced pitching staff can shutout anyone we face.”
Left fielder Neil Boudreau (Sr.) was able to make a diving catch over his shoulder late in the game to save several runs from scoring, and third baseman Ben Hansen (Jr.) had a base hit as well as an impressive diving play late in the final inning of the game.
UHS lost the consolation game against Schurr High School 0-6 to close out the tournament. The Trojans decided to save their pitching for the opening of PCL play against BHS at Patriot Park.