Corona del Mar High's A.J. Sanchez makes contact against Estancia in a  Beach Pit Classic game Monday.

Corona del Mar High's A.J. Sanchez makes contact against Estancia in a Beach Pit Classic game Monday. (Courtesy of Mary Pat Hastings / April 16, 2014)

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Sophomore went up against sophomore with one out, the bases loaded and the score tied, 4-4. This wasn't necessarily a play that defined young players pitcher Connor Brown of Estancia High and Evan Larsen of Corona del Mar.

It actually turned out being a bit anticlimactic as a pass ball became the final play when Nick Premer scored to give CdM a 5-4 victory in a Beach Pit Classic game at CdM Monday.

But both players, Larsen's a pitcher too, made plays throughout the game that caused their coaches to continue to be excited about their respective futures.

This time, Larsen came out on top and made the plays to win. He noticed something different about Brown in the bottom of the seventh and final inning.

"It seemed like he was getting a little tired," Larsen said of Brown. "I felt he was decreasing his speed a little."

The Sea Kings (4-12) finally got to Brown, who had pitched five straight scoreless innings after CdM had scored three in the first inning.

Larsen came on in relief in the third inning with the Sea Kings trailing, 4-3, and delivered five straight scoreless innings of his own. He struck out four and allowed only two hits.

Larsen also helped his win with a single that scored Nick Ontiveros and Tyler Duncan in the first inning.

"Evan has been great for us all year long," CdM Coach John Emme said. "He has a very bright future."

Larsen didn't feel it was his best outing of the season.

"I just did a great job of keeping us in the game and we got the win in the end," he said.

Estancia (6-9) scored two runs in each of the first two innings before running into Larsen.

Jake Brown and Zach Shafer scored two runs apiece.

Brown was workmanlike from the second inning through the sixth inning. He was at 75 pitches after six innings and Estancia Coach Nate Goellrich said he thought Brown should finish the game.

Brown ended with 92 pitches and some regret about not being able to finish off the Sea Kings with the game on the line.

"It was his game," Goellrich said of Brown. "He had earned it. We were there to either to win or lose it and we lost it. But he'll bounce back. He's only a sophomore so this is a great learning experience for him. He had a low pitch count. We had the confidence in him."

Estancia opened with a 10-1 loss to Sun Valley Village Christian Saturday to open the Beach Pit Classic, an eight-team, round-robin tournament.

"It's a great resilient group," Goellrich said. "They're learning from it. We need to learn how finish. We haven't quite figured it out yet, but we are learning from it."

Estancia plays host to Beckman Wednesday at 3:15 p.m. and closes out the tournament at home against Irvine on Thursday.

CdM plays against Village Christian on Wednesday and close out against Hesperia Oak Hills on Thursday.