With spring break a few days away, the Sunset League baseball race is about to complete its first-round of action. It comes to a close Thursday with the league lead on the line.
Through the first four league contests Tuesday, Fountain Valley leads the way at 4-0. The Barons won their fourth outing Tuesday by taking a 6-1 victory from rival Edison. One game back of the lead is Marina which was dropped from a share of first place after Newport Harbor rallied for a 3-2 win. Huntington Beach also was victorious Tuesday by defeating Los Alamitos, 4-1.
Thursday's schedule has Marina playing at home against Fountain Valley in a key game and Huntington traveling to face Edison. Both games start at 3:15 p.m.
Ocean View, which dropped its second-straight Golden West League game Tuesday in a loss to Orange, continues league play at 7 p.m. Thursday against Loara.
Edison: Brian Schales, Dante Capoccia, Philip Knapp and Jake Scott had hits for the Chargers (1-3 league) in their 6-1 loss Tuesday to Fountain Valley.
Edison starts play Monday at the Hard 9 National Classic tournament and face Calvert Hall (Md.) at 10 a.m. at Esperanza High.
Fountain Valley: Sophomore Hunter Margain (4-0) threw a complete game for his third win of the season and Joseph Secrest and Nick Yang started two big rallies for the Barons in their 6-1 home win over Edison.
Justin Brand went two for three and Brock Lundquist doubled for Fountain Valley, which is 4-0 in league, 10-1 overall, and ranked No. 4 in CIF Southern Section Division 1.
"Hunter was very efficient," Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said of Margain, who threw 85 pitches in a complete game. "Clutch hitting by Nick Yang and base running and execution were huge today."
Yanagisawa said that senior ace Monty Plattner (5-0) will start Thursday at Marina.
Following Thursday's game at Marina, the Barons begin play Saturday at the Anaheim Lions Tournament. They play host to Campolindo at 11 a.m. and Long Beach Millikan at 2 p.m. In tourney play next week, the Barons play host to Woods Cross (Utah).at 11 a.m. on Monday and are home to Salinas at 11 a.m. on Tuesday. The championship game is set for Wednesday.
Huntington Beach: Logan Pouelsen hit an RBI double in the opening inning and the Oilers started on their way to a 4-1 win over visiting Los Alamitos.
In the second inning, Jarrett Anton delivered an RBI triple and Clint Jack had a run-scoring single as Huntington (7-4, 2-2) increased its lead to 4-0.
Sean O'Toole, Robert Baker and Jake Brodt shared mound duties and limited the Griffins to a single hit. O'Toole got the win and is 1-0.
"I loved the way we jumped on them early," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "We had problems scoring runs the last three games, so to get four [runs] in the first two innings against a great program like Los Al, it was a huge boost. This league is going to be crazy toward the end."
Medure will send Robert Baker (1-0) to the mound Thursday against Edison.
The Oilers will compete at the Hard 9 National Classic tournament starting Monday. They'll open against Concord De La Salle at 2 p.m. at Esperanza High.
Marina: The Vikings suffered their first Sunset League loss when Newport Harbor's Shaun Vetrovec hit a two-run walk-off home run to lift the host Sailors to a 3-2 win.
Jackson Westermeyer threw a "great game," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. The senior struck out nine as his record went to 3-1. Jake Bauers went two for two, Tyler Mildenberg, Austin Sojka and Landon Marshall had doubles, and Sojka and Justin Neese had RBIs for Marina (7-4, 3-1).
"This is what Sunset League baseball is all about," Bob Marshall said. "Both teams battled to the final pitch, unfortunately Newport came out on the victorious side. They were down to their last strike and made us pay when Vetrovec hit his bomb.
"Our Achilles heel is that we are not disciplined at the plate. We are getting better, but not where we want to be yet."
Senior Austin Olivas (3-0) will start for the Vikings Thursday when they play host to league-leading Fountain Valley.
The Vikings begin play at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Ryan Lemmon Invitational against Tustin. The tourney runs through Wednesday.
Ocean View: The Seahawks grabbed a 2-0 lead at Orange, but the host Panthers scored the final 10 runs to take the Golden West League game.
Ocean View (3-7, 2-2) took its 2-0 lead on a home run by Jared Goodman, his second of the year. The loss was the second-straight in league play for the Seahawks, who last Friday fell, 5-3, to Westminster.
"I feel like this game [against Orange] was a total misrepresentation of what Ocean View baseball is supposed to be," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said. "Errors are going to happen, that is part of the game. But when they continue to happen in the manner that happened here today, we can only think that some changes need to be made. We are going back to the drawing board.
"We need to dream this thing up again and figure out a way to compete. Today, we did not compete, and we need to fix that. We got a solid pitching performance from a sophomore call-up [Steven Cotton, and we wasted it for him. It's time to start competing again."
Ocean View goes to Glover Stadium in Anaheim Thursday for a 7 p.m. league game against Loara. Borowski said Ramon Sepulveda (0-1) will get the start against the Saxons.
The Seahawks open play Saturday at the Ryan Lemmon Invitational which runs through Wednesday. The Seahawks face Roosevelt at 11 a.m. in their tourney opener.
CIF Weekly Rankings (week of March 25)
Division 1: Fountain Valley, No. 4.