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LC Canyon winning when it counts

04/17/2015, 9:00pm PDT
By John Maffei

No. 1 Mavericks take two of three in key Avocado West League series against Vista

Outfielder Mickey Moniak led the hit parade for LCC with three singles and three RBIs in Friday's 11-0 win over Vista.

VISTA — You don’t hang a banner for winning the North County Tournament.

You do, however, for winning a league title.

And while the Vista and La Costa Canyon baseball teams split four games over an eight-day period — with Vista beating the Mavericks in the North County Tournament final last Friday — LCC beat the Panthers 11-0 Friday to take two out of three games in an Avocado West League series.

The wins are big steps toward a league title.

“This is the game we wanted,” said LCC coach Justin Machado. “We play the season in phases — nonleague, league and postseason. We’re in phase two now, and we need to win every league series.”

The Avocado West plays league games in three-game sets.

Top-ranked La Costa Canyon (16-4, 2-1) won 3-0 Monday and Vista won 3-2 Wednesday.

Friday, LCC junior right-hander Julian McDonald threw a two-hitter, striking out six and walking two. He retired the last 11 batters in a row. He got 13 fly outs and lowered his ERA to 1.02 over 27 1/3 innings.

“My off-speed stuff was pretty good, but I left a lot of pitches up, and they got themselves out,” McDonald said. “We have a great rivalry with Vista, so this was a big game.

“We really wanted to win the series.”

Mickey Moniak led the hit parade for LCC with three singles and three RBIs.

Machado said Vista only got Moniak out twice in the series.

“Mickey’s unbelievable,” said McDonald, who had to sit through long innings as the Mavericks batted around in the fifth and seventh innings.

“He’s the heart and soul of our team. And this is a very close team.

“Mickey gets on, drives in runs and runs down everything in center field.

“It wasn’t hard for me to focus after those long innings because I couldn’t let the team down. Plus, we’re playing Vista.”

Vista (14-4, 1-2), ranked No. 4 in the county, trailed just 2-0 after four innings, but walks, a hit batter and defensive mistakes cost the Panthers over the final three innings.

Vista had McDonald in trouble in the second inning after he walked the first two hitters. But the Panthers failed to move the runners as McDonald went strikeout, fly out, strikeout to work out of trouble.

“We hit some balls hard, but really lacked execution in that second inning,” said Vista coach Ricky Imperiali. “If we take the lead there, maybe things are different.

“But their kid did a nice job. He had a good, firm fastball and mixed in his breaking stuff and change-up.

“We played LCC four straight times and split with them. But it’s really all about league.”

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Tag(s): News  News  La Costa Canyon  Vista