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Santa Margarita holds off La Costa Canyon 3-2, captures Southern California Division 1 baseball title

Santa Margarita beat three San Diego Section teams during the past week to become Southern California champions.

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. – Following a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to JSerra in the Southern Section Division 1 championship game, Santa Margarita began a new mission.

On Saturday, the Eagles completed that goal with a 3-2 victory against La Costa Canyon in the final round of the Southern California Division 1 regional championship.

“Our goal from the beginning of the year was always to win the last game and we knew we hadn’t reached those, so we had to bounce back and win these last three games for the seniors and the rest of the team,” senior second baseman Blake Wilson said after collecting two hits while making several slick defensive plays.

The Eagles opened the scoring on an infield single by Luke Lavin that plated Blake Wilson in the first inning. Sophomore starting pitcher Hayden George tossed the first four innings for Santa Margarita, allowing two hits including a solo home run to Kalen Applefield that evened the score 1-1 in the fourth inning.


In the bottom half of the fourth inning, Santa Margarita loaded the bases thanks to two singles and a hit by pitch. Senior leftfielder Bryce Humphry made the Mavericks pay by lining a single into left field that gave the Eagles a 3-1 lead.

“We lost in the CIF finals,” Wilson said. “We knew we had to win our last high school game and we came out and played every game like it was our last game.”

La Costa Canyon responded with an RBI double by Hayden Kline that cut the lead to 3-2 but ended the top of the fifth inning by stranding runners on second and third base.

The Eagles put together a two-out rally in the bottom half of the inning by loading the bases, but La Costa Canyon reliever Cooper Walls got Drew Rutter to fly out to center field to end the threat.

La Costa Canyon third baseman Nolan Farley reached on an error with one out in the final inning, leading Santa Margarita to bring in Oregon-bound ace pitcher Sammy Cova. Cova threw 6 1/3 innings in Tuesday’s win over Carlsbad. It took Cova two pitches to complete the job, getting La Costa Canyon catcher Kalen Applefield to fly out to right field.

The Eagles went to the bullpen once again, bringing in sophomore right-hander Brennan Bauer. He got designated hitter Hayden Kline to pop out to left field on the first pitch, sealing the victory for Santa Margarita.

“It was senior night last night so there was a lot of energy from the team, and it was the last high school game, so we knew we had to go out with a bang,” Wilson added.

Santa Margarita utilized five different pitchers, including three in the final inning, on Saturday that limited the Mavericks to three hits. The Eagles issued five walks and hit two batters, giving La Costa Canyon chances throughout the seven innings.

The Mavericks managed to not strikeout on Saturday but left multiple runners on base in three different innings.

“You couldn’t ask anymore from a group, I’m really proud of these guys for how they played today,” La Costa Canyon head coach Justin Machado said.

La Costa Canyon ends its season at 26-7 after winning back-to-back San Diego Section Open Division championships and having played in the Southern California regional playoffs each of the past three years.

After going 14-1 in the Trinity League, finishing five games ahead of Mater Dei and JSerra, and making a run to the Southern Section Division 1 championship game, Santa Margarita (29-7) ends its season as Southern California regional champions for the first time.

“It was huge momentum playing good teams in the Trinity League throughout the year, it was great competition and that really helped carry momentum throughout the playoffs,” Wilson said.