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Trent Liolios powers Newport Harbor baseball past first-place Corona del Mar

NEWPORT BEACH >> Trent Liolios used his arm and his bat Thursday to propel Newport Harbor to a 6-1 win over Corona del Mar in a Wave League baseball game at Corona del Mar High.

The Northwestern signee allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings with two hits and four strikeouts. At the plate, Liolios went 3 for 4 with a double and three RBIs.

“He did everything we knew he was capable of today,” Newport Harbor coach Josh Lee said of Liolios. “He’s been our No. 1 on the mound all year and he did it again today, obviously. In a rivalry game like that, these games matter.”

“To be honest the stuff wasn’t locating like usual but I wanted to fight for my team,” Liolios said. “I have to thank my team for some amazing defensive plays. They really had my back out there.”

Liolios was lifted with two outs in the seventh inning after a runner reached on an error. He threw 112 pitches, considerably more than his 80 pitches per game average, but he was prepared to dig deep Thursday.

“This is one of the games I’ve been waiting for all year,” Liolios said. “I was prepared to go as many pitches as I needed to just to get us through the game. It definitely took a little toll on my arm but nothing too much.”

Newport Harbor’s Trent Liolios allowed just one run over 6 2/3 innings and went 3 for 4 with three RBIs in a win over Corona del Mar on Thursday, April 14. (Photo by Michael Huntley, Contributor)

With their back-to-back wins over Corona del Mar — they won 14-6 on Tuesday — the Sailors (14-9, 3-4) kept the league race close. Corona del Mar (15-9, 5-2) sits in first place in the Wave League standings, ahead of Laguna Beach (4-3 league).

Newport Harbor is in third place in the Wave League, due in part to suffering a sweep at the hands of Laguna Beach earlier this season.

“We put ourselves in a hole in league so our fate is kind of out of our hands. All we can do is play well,” Lee said. “We had the team moment where we sat down and were frank with each other. Two wins against CdM and I think we’re right back in it.”

The Sailors scored three runs in the first inning to jump to an early advantage. Joey Wright and Bryce Blaser hit consecutive singles to open the game and Liolios drove them in with a two-run single. AJ Guitron-Moore drove in Liolios with a single to extend the lead to three.

Corona del Mar scored its lone run in the first inning. Ethan Watson hit a leadoff single and later scored on an errant pickoff attempt to first base.

Blaser drove in a run for the Sailors in the second inning to bring the lead back to three.

Liolios hit a run-scoring double in the seventh and Guitron-Moore drove in a run to give the Sailors some insurance runs.

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