During spring break, the Edison and Marina baseball teams headed south to participate in the San Diego Lions Tournament for the 61st annual event, and Marina returned home with a division championship.
The Vikings won their final four games in the Premiere division to capture the title, capping the run with a 6-1 victory over Paramount on April 21 at Coronado High. Edison, meanwhile, won its final two games in the Classic division to finish 3-1 overall.
Mitch Huffman threw six innings in Marina's 6-1 title-clinching win over Paramount to win the 16-team Premiere division. The Vikings started the tournament on a down note playing, as Coach Bob Marshall said, "poor defense" without clutch hitting, and lost, 5-4, to Carlsbad. They came back in their second outing to blast Coronado, 10-0. Huffman picked up his first tourney win by throwing no-hit ball over four innings. The Vikings also belted out 11 hits and didn't commit an error.
"We came out flat in the first game against Carlsbad, it was ugly," Marshall said. "We played poor defense, our pitchers could not jump ahead and were pitching behind to the hitters and our offense could not get much going.
"I was disappointed in how we played and I told them that directly after the game. I said I was tired of us being a roller coaster team. One game we have it all together and then the next we look like we have no plan, we don't want to attack the zone as pitchers and we lose our focus on defense and we don't have a plan at the plate. We need to be more consistent with our game if we plan on competing in the sunset league. Well, the players were very disappointed as well and they snapped it all around for the rest of the tournament. The regrouped and refocused and they came out and played great baseball."
Pitching also keyed Marina's next two victories, both coming by shutout. First, Jake Tillinghast threw a complete-game one-hitter in a 6-0 win over Rocklin. Trevor Megill then threw a complete game in a 3-0 semifinal win over Ramona.
Marina (14-7) beat a Paramount team that was 16-3 heading into the division final.
Huffman, Megill, Tillinghast and Lucas Kaplan powered Marina on the mound. Huffman, who Marshall said was the Vikings' player of the week, posted two victories. He allowed just one run and struck out 10 in his 10 innings.
Offensively, Jeff Guzman, Chris Schaaf, Jake Arledge, Kevin Isa and Chris Martinez led the way. Guzman was named MVP of the tournament. The senior went nine for 16 with five runs scored and four stolen bases. Senior Chris Schaaf also had a big tournament going seven for 15 with two clutch hits that gave the Vikings the lead in two of their games.
The Vikings were honored at Petco Park prior to the start of the Friday's major league baseball game between the San Diego Padres and Philadelphia Phillies.
"Our players had a great time in this tournament and we had a chance to bond as a team," Marshall said. "It was a great experience to be honored at Petco Field before the Padres-Phillies game, and the boys were ecstatic to be part of something that they might not ever get a chance to do again. Great memories for all of them. We (coaching staff) were very proud of them and we are looking forward to finishing strong in league."
Marina plays a 3:15 p.m. Sunset League game Friday at Los Alamitos.
Edison was 3-1 in the Classic division of the Lions tournament. The Chargers started tourney play April 18 with a 7-2 win over Otay Ranch, lost its second game, 2-1, to Poway, but came back to get consecutive wins over Green Valley (Henderson, NV.), 5-4, and Point Loma (3-2).
"The whole idea for us was to take the team on the road to build chemistry and get a little more battle-tested for the upcoming playoffs," Edison Coach Steve Lambright said. "Three of the four teams we faced were from the San Diego area and I thought we did OK."
Edison, which entered the week undefeated (9-0) in Sunset League play, continues its on its season-long goal quest to win a league championship when it hosts Newport Harbor at 3:15 p.m. Friday. Lambright said that senior Jon Torres will get the start.
"We're 9-0 in league heading into our series with Newport Harbor and it's an awesome start but I told the kids that I've been in this league a long time and in that time, I've not seen a team win league with nine wins," Lambright said. "Our very first goal way back in September was to win league. That is within our reach but we still need to take care of business with five games left."
Fountain Valley: The Barons recorded three wins at the San Luis Obispo Tournament, defeating Foothill (Santa Ana), 8-6 in eight innings, San Luis Obispo (6-3) and Amador Valley of Pleasanton, 7-6. In the win over Foothill, Taylor Martin hit a solo home run and Tyler Clouse tripled.
Fountain Valley has a 3 p.m. Sunset League game Friday at Huntington Beach.
Huntington Beach: The Oilers also played in the San Luis Obispo Tournament over spring break, going 3-1 with wins over Amador Valley, Agoura Hills and San Luis Obispo. Their loss, 5-2, came to Foothill.
"It was good for us to get away and get our minds right," Oilers Coach Benji Medure said. "It has been tough this year. We played with our hair on fire up there and we need to take that approach in league. We need to hit the fast forward button and play with that kind of intensity."
Huntington hosts Fountain Valley at 3 p.m. Friday in Sunset League action.
Ocean View: The Seahawks split a pair of Golden West League games with Loara last week, beating the Saxons, 9-1, on April 19, before losing, 9-6, in a follow-up game played April 21.
In the 9-1 win, Colton Johnson pitched six solid innings to collect his first win (1-0, two saves) of the season. Timmy Robinson and Blake Walker both went two for four with a double and RBI each.
In the 9-6 loss, which allowed Loara to take the league series, 2-1, Walker threw four innings. Robinson continued his hot streak at the plate, going four for four with a home run, his third of the season. Robert Fogarty went three for four with two doubles and two RBI.
"We gave too much away," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said of the 9-6 loss. "Our team sometimes plays with complacency. We tend to forget we are the defending CIF champs and that whomever we play, they are going to bring their 'A' game.
"We battled offensively, got some key hits in some key spots, but each time we scored, we gave them the runs right back. It's tough to watch sometimes. We need to get our focus back very quickly against Westminster if we want to make the playoffs."