Baseball: Fountain Valley stays ahead in Sunset

Heading into the week, the Sunset League baseball title was up for grabs. Four games to go, and three teams, Fountain Valley High, Huntington Beach and Edison, all had a shot at earning a championship.

Fountain Valley (10-1) held the lead on the league pack through Friday, and held a precarious, one-game lead on second-place Huntington (9-2), and a two-game edge on Edison (8-3). The Oilers and Chargers play a key series this week and next week, in the final week of the regular and league season, the Barons and Chargers play twice.

Fountain Valley made it a league sweep (3-0) of Newport Harbor Friday by winning, 4-2, on the Sailors' home turf. Senior Daniel Patzlaff broke a 2-2 tie by delivering a two-run home run in the top of the fourth inning that ended up sending the third-ranked Barons (16-6 overall), who overcame a 2-0 deficit, on to a 4-2 victory. Senior Scott Schultz took the pitching win and ran his perfect record to 10-0. Justin Cobb threw the seventh and got the save.

Two days earlier, Fountain Valley had edged the Sailors (10-12, 3-8), 3-2, April 30. Cobb had a sacrifice RBI fly out that put the Barons in front, 1-0, and Dillon Persinger put the Barons ahead to stay (3-2) in the bottom of the fifth when his single into left field brought in Brock Lundquist who beat a throw to the plate to score what turned out to be the winning run.

Persinger also doubled in Friday's win at Newport.

"Any time you go up against the pitching of Newport Harbor, you know they will keep the game close," Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said.

Huntington (17-4 overall) took two games last week from Marina (7-13 overall, 2-9 league) to sweep the three-game series between the teams.

In a 9-4 win Friday at Huntington, Clint Jack hit a three-run home run and Daniel Amaral went two for two with three RBIs. Noah Davis (8-1) threw five innings, scattered three hits without giving up a run, and struck out five.

The Oilers went to Marina April 30 and took a 4-2 win for the Vikings. Dillon Millar went two for two with a double and run scored, Sean O'Toole (4-1) threw a three-hitter and got the win, and Logan Pouelsen (1 2/3 innings) recorded the save.

"The two losses against Fountain Valley (April 23, 25) took a toll on us mentally," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "It was nice to see our guys battle back and play well. We played with energy and heart. We need to continue with that and finish strong."

Edison swept its three-game series with Los Alamitos by defeating the Griffins in consecutive games last week by scores of 3-2 and 7-2.

Brian Schales blasted two home runs and went three for four with four RBIs Friday to power the Chargers to a 7-2 home win. Jason McLellan (3-0) threw two innings and registered the win.

The Chargers previously scored a 3-2 win at Los Al April 30. Phil Knapp went two four three with a run scored and Noah Kronfly (7-1) threw a four-hitter with two earned runs in seven innings.

"[Friday] was one of our best games, and weeks, of the year as we had an outstanding and gutty performance from Kronfly on the mound on Wednesday, followed by a complete effort from our strong bullpen Friday," Edison Coach Cameron Chinn said.

Sunset teams played Wednesday. Scores from those games weren't available at press time.

In league action at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Fountain Valley plays host to Marina and Huntington is home to Edison.

Ocean View (14-8 overall, 7-4 league) took a pair of Golden West League contests last week from Segerstrom. The Seahawks first defeated the Jaguars, 9-2, April 30, and followed with a 5-2 road win Friday, to sweep the three-game league series.

Dustin Fisher hit his third home run of the season, went two for three with two RBIs, and on the mound, threw a four-hitter to run his record to 4-2 April 30 in the 9-2 victory. Braydon Salzman had two hits and drove in three runs, Jett Volo had an RBI triple, and Ramon Sepulveda scored three runs.

Salzman went three for three and got the pitching win Friday by throwing a five-hitter with eight strikeouts during a 5-2 win at Segerstrom. Ben Myers (hit), Bobby Evans (hit), Michael Giacone and Gabe Ledezma each had an RBI.

"I was very happy with how our kids handled themselves in both games," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said. "We had a rough practice on Tuesday, it was hot, our energy was lacking, and the effort was just not there. One of our seniors was not happy with how the younger players were practicing. He got the other three seniors together and after practice they addressed the lack of hustle with the younger guys. It was great to see the senior leadership, especially since most of the lineup is comprised of sophomores and the seniors felt they didn't understand the importance of 100% effort.

"I'm really proud of how the seniors handled it, how the rest of the team responded to it, and it resulted in two wins for us. Even better, I heard afterward there was a live goldfish in our dugout during the game on Wednesday. I'm not sure how or why, but after the win our kids were convinced the goldfish was their rally point. The fish was taken to a large fish tank at the home of one of our players, and is living comfortably now. As long as the fish swims, our kids believe. Whatever it takes, I guess."

Ocean View, which began the week tied for second place with Orange, two games behind league-leader Loara, took on Westminster Wednesday. The score wasn't available at press time.

The Seahawks visit Westminster at 3:15 p.m. Friday. They play a key, two-game series to close out the league and regular season next week against Orange. The first game is 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Orange.

CIF Weekly Rankings

Fountain Valley (No. 3, Division 1); Huntington Beach (No. 5, Division 1).

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