Thanks to his dream to go to a West Coast college, junior outfielder Landon Silver left one of the top high schools in Florida, Miami Westminster Christian, to move to Huntington Beach last fall. He couldn't be happier living in Southern California.
"I love it," he said.
Silver, who is committed to UC Santa Barbara, has a swing to die for, and he showed it off in the fourth inning on Friday in a Southern Section Divison 1 quarterfinal playoff game against El Dorado. With ace pitcher Nick Sprengel on the mound, Silver blasted a three-run home run to left field, sparking the Oilers to a 5-1 victory and a spot in Tuesday's semifinals against Norco at Blair Field. It was his seventh home run of the season.
Logan Pouelsen came on in relief of Noah Davis to throw 1 2/3 shutout innings to get the save. With No. 1-seeded JSerra being eliminated by Hart, the No. 2-seeded Oilers (22-8) become the Division 1 favorites.
They got a pinch-hit home run from sophomore Ben McConnell and an RBI single from sophomore Hagen Danner, who's expected to get the start on the mound on Tuesday.
It was only the second loss in 12 decisions for Sprengel, who struck out five.
The other semifinal will match Foothill League rivals Hart and Saugus. The site and day will be finalized on Saturday after a coin flip decides the home team. Both schools have graduation next week. Hart graduates on Tuesday, Saugus on Wednesday, both at College of the Canyons. The game is tentatively set for Tuesday at 2 p.m. at COC.