It's still in the early stages of the Sunset League baseball season, but setting the early pace, are co-league leaders Huntington Beach High and Edison.
Huntington Beach, the fourth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, went on the road March 26 to face Fountain Valley, and won a well-played nail-biter, 2-1. The Oilers on Friday took a 9-3 home win from Marina.
Senior Jarrett Anton hit a two-run triple in the top of the seventh inning to break open a scoreless tie at Fountain Valley, then held off the Barons in the bottom-half of the seventh to get the key win. Senior Sean O'Toole (2-0) threw 4 2/3 innings and got the win, and sophomore Logan Pouelsen earned the save in the seventh innings.
Noah Davis took the pitching win Friday against Marina. The junior pitched five innings, gave up five hits and improved to 4-0 on the season.
Senior Clint Jack had a three-run triple and junior Cooper Moore went two for two and scored twice for the Oilers.
Huntington started the week 3-0 in league, and 7-2 overall.
"We have some good pitching, but I don't feel like we have pitched to the best of our ability," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "We have fallen behind a bunch and walked the lead-off guy way too many times to be successful. We have been lucky to get out of situations unharmed. We need to sharpen that area up.
"When we pitch to our ability, we will be tough to beat. Hopefully, that is Wednesday against Edison."
The top spot was on the line Wednesday when Edison traveled to face Huntington. The score wasn't available at press time.
•Edison got off to a 3-0 league start, winning two games in the past week to sit alone in first place. They picked up victory No. 2 March 26 by defeating host Newport Harbor, 4-1. Two days later, then shut out visiting Los Alamitos, 1-0, Friday.
In the win over Newport Harbor, junior Pierson Loska had an RBI double among two hits and fellow sophomore Kaz Akamatsu threw 6 1/3 innings and didn't allow a run in getting the win. Junior Michael Mahony relieved Akamatsu and earned his second save of the season.
Loska scored the game's only run against Los Alamitos when senior Philip Knapp delivered an RBI single in the second innings. Junior Noah Kronfly pitched a shutout and allowed only two hits in improving to 4-0.
The two wins put Edison at 11-3 overall, and helped the Chargers creep up to No. 7 in this week's CIF Southern Section Division 1 rankings.
"The team continues to exhibit poise and confidence in close games," Edison Coach Cameron Chinn said. "We need to improve on executing the little game for seven innings in order to compete with Huntington on Wednesday."
•Fountain Valley was 2-1 and one game behind Huntington and Edison. In their most recent game Friday, the Barons bounced back from a 2-1 loss to Huntington to score a 10-0 shutout of host Newport Harbor (0-3). Senior Dillon Persinger clubbed two home runs, senior Brock Lundquist hit his fourth homer of the season, and junior Willie Aguilar had two hits to pace the offense. Senior Scott Schultz got the win and is now 5-0.
"The Huntington game was a pitchers' duel," Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said. "We left 11 men on base and couldn't come up with a clutch hit. You have to give Huntington credit, they clutched up when they had to and we didn't. They were able to execute on offense and we weren't. We had our chances early and couldn't take advantage.
"I thought we came out against Newport with a better approach on offense. Guys were choking up on the bat early on and driving the ball up the middle. We had some quality at-bats early which set the tone. [Brock] Lundquist was big for us by getting us on the board with his fourth home run. He's been very good at driving runs in. We were fortunate to get to [Connor] Seabold. He's as good as advertised but I give our guys credit because they battled against one of the best pitchers in our league. We were able to drive his pitch count up and get into their bullpen."
•Marina got its first league win March 26 by blanking visiting Los Alamitos (0-3), 2-0. Sophomore pitcher Riley Ohl threw a complete-game shutout and took his record to 3-0. Senior Landon Marshall went two for three with a double and RBI, and junior KJ Spiratos drove in the other run. Senior Austin Sojka scored both Marina runs.
After taking a 1-0 lead in the top of the first Friday at Huntington, the error-prone Vikings (4-4 overall, 1-2 league) dropped a 9-3 game to the Oilers.
"The tale of two teams, is what this week was about," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "We had timely hitting and a great pitching performance and we limited our mistakes against Los Al. However, against Huntington, we made crucial mistakes, mis-read fly balls, and pitching was ugly.
"We need to be consistent if we are going to compete in the Sunset League. It is tough enough in this league that every team can beat you, we should not help the league by beating ourselves."
Marina took on Newport Harbor in another Sunset game Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time.
In a Golden West League opener March 27, a three-run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning came up just short for Ocean View which was edged, 5-4, by visiting Loara. Senior Dustin Fisher and sophomore Brian Schlosser both had a hit and RBI for the Seahawks (7-5 overall).
In 3:15 p.m. games Friday, Huntington travels to Los Alamitos, Edison plays host to Fountain Valley and Marina is home to Newport Harbor in Sunset League action, and Ocean View is on the road at Segerstrom in Golden West League play.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Baseball: Huntington Beach (No. 4, Division 1); Edison (No. 7, Division 1).