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Sharks close out record-breaking season in Irvine
With the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Ezra Allen’s short fly ball floated just out of the Flintridge third baseman’s reach — empty mitts hit the dirt and the third base runner dashed home. The scoreboard flashed 6-5; the Sharks made history.
For the first time in the school’s history, the MHS baseball team defeated their second-round CIF opponents, Flintridge Prep, on May 27 and advanced to the third round, coming back from a fifth-inning 5-0 deficit and marking the furthest the program had ever gone in the playoffs.
Trouble plagued the Sharks early in the game, when star senior pitcher Noah Simon agitated a recent back injury and had to be pulled from the game in the top of the fourth inning.
Andre Simoneau took to the mound against an aggressive Flintridge offense, which had already accumulated four runs in four innings, and got the Sharks out of the inning with only one more run added to the scoreboard.
With the end of their season looking them in the face, a new Malibu team emerged in the bottom of fourth. A deep fly ball to left field by Nick Anthony got the rally started, but big hits from Chris Falk, Chase Lambert, Cade McMillin and Dylan Ross proved that the Sharks were there to stay. A Flintridge double-play temporarily ended the Sharks hot streak, but not before they’d had a chance to chip into Flintridge’s lead with three runs.
The Sharks held Flintridge to their five runs in the fifth and sixth innings with tight fielding and ace pitching from Simoneau, and picked up where they left off in the bottom of the sixth when a line drive from Allen scored Lambert and a ground ball from Bronson Bard scored Ross to tie the game.
After their groundbreaking victory on May 27, the Sharks took to the road for their third round game against Crean Lutheran, where the 25-4 Irvine team capitalized on the Sharks, beating them 10-3 and ending Malibu’s season.
The Sharks close the books on their golden season with Lambert having knocked in 19 RBIs, 36 hits and stolen 26 bases, Noah Simon boasting a 2.72 ERA and Hunter McMillin securing a .412 batting average among other achievements.