Irvine Valley's Justin Zielinski did exactly what a sophomore ace is supposed to.
He stepped up big when his team needed it.
Zielinski threw his best game as a Laser, leading the Irvine Valley baseball team to a 6-0 victory over Los Angeles Harbor at home on Tuesday afternoon.
Zielinski dominated, pitching a complete-game, five-hit shutout.
He didn't allow a walk and struck out seven in facing just four batters over the minimum for the game.
Zielinski threw 103 pitches to earn the shutout, which was the first of his career at IVC.
"I am so proud of him," IVC coach Kent Madole said. "What a special performance and something we really needed after having that two-game funk."
Irvine Valley, which opened the season with four straight wins, lost both of its games on a trip to San Diego last weekend.
IVC improved its record to 5-2 overall. Zielinski is now responsible for three of those victories.
He moved his record to 3-0 on the year. Even more impressive is that he hasn't given up an earned run this season.
In 21 innings, Zielinski has a 0.00 ERA. He has given up 14 hits and one run (unearned) and has nine strikeouts.
"He has put in a lot of work in going back to the beginning of his freshman year (in 2014) and this is the culmination of it," Madole said. "It is really nice to see all of that dedication and commitment pay off."
Tuesday's game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth inning when Irvine Valley scored two runs.
Freshman first baseman Lucas Tancas, IVC's hottest hitter of the season thus far, then hit a line drive past the LA Harbor third baseman and into the left field corner.
Tancas' triple off LA Harbor starting pitcher Michael Semonsen scored both runners.
The Lasers added three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on three hits, an LA Harbor error and a passed ball to take a 5-0 lead.
And then sophomore shortstop Zach Vittetow drove in Irvine Valley's final run with a single in the bottom of the eighth.
Semonsen took the loss for LA Harbor, giving up five runs (three earned) on eight hits in five innings. He had two strikeouts.
Irvine Valley ended up with 13 hits on the day off of three LA Harbor pitchers.
Five different players had two hits apiece for IVC.
Tancas is batting .517 with a home run, three triples, two doubles and seven RBI on the year.
Irvine Valley is hitting .329 as a team and has out-scored opponents, 82-46, so far.
The Lasers play again on Friday traveling to West Los Angeles for a game at 2 p.m. IVC then hosts West LA on Saturday at noon.