The comeback kid, junior Alex Suarez, put a smile on Irvine baseball coach Ryan Brucker by pitching two shutout innings Thursday to pick up the save in Irvine’s 2-0 victory over University.
Suarez, who returned to the varsity in April after having brain surgery to remove a tumor in January, gave up one hit for Irvine, which finished the season by winning its third league game. The young Vaqueros finished 6-20 overall and 3-12 in league but the performance by Suarez definitely gave Brucker a lift and some hope going into next season.
“Yoni Bracha started, threw five innings and gave up two hits and no runs,” said Brucker. “Yoni didn’t have his best stuff today but competed really well for us and kept us in the game.
“Max Lyman hit a two-run home run after Jacob Blanchet singled with two outs in the top of the sixth. We brought in Alex after Bracha walked the lead-off guy in the sixth. He did an outstanding job hitting his spots today and commanded the zone. Uni had one out with runners on first and third and Alex made a great pitch to get him (the Uni batter) out.”
The Vaqueros also got a strong play by Marc Filia, who threw out Uni’s runner at home ending the inning. Then Suarez retired the side in order in the seventh.
“Alex did a great job today and I’m glad he could finish the year earning a six-out save,” Brucker said. “Nobody deserves it more.”
University finished 6-20 overall and 2-13 in Kevin McCaffrey’s first season as head coach.
Beckman’s Lavalle named all-star coach
Beckman baseball coach Kevin Lavalle found out some exciting news last week when he was selected the coach of the South team for the Kiwanis Club Orange County All-star Baseball game next month.
It’s the 50th anniversary of the game.
“It was a tremendous honor to be named the Head Coach of the South Team,” Lavalle said.
Sam Cachola of Northwood, Spencer Weston of Woodbridge and Beckman’s Zach Espinosa, Will Cohen, and Austin Schell.
“We’re well represented and all the kids are thrilled,” Lavalle said. “Coaches from around the county nominate their best players and then my assistants and I had to go through and pick 24 kids to represent the South.
“It’s a long, complicated process. Some of the players I have personally seen play, and some you have to rely on the evaluations of other coaches. They’re all qualified and incredible players. It was hard, and I’m sure some deserving players were left out, but I’m happy with the 24 guys we chose.”
Lavalle selected John Emme of Corona del Mar and Ryan Brucker of Irvine as assistant coaches.
“John and I have known each other for a long time, and he is one of the most respected coaches in the county,” Lavalle said. “Ryan is a younger head coach, and his team is fighting hard. You learn a lot about a coach when their team is struggling, and Ryan just continues to coach like his team is undefeated. I admire that. He will be the head coach in this game in the future. He…