Los Angeles Times

Baseball: Fountain Valley, HB tied for first in Sunset

The Sunset League baseball champion will be decided on the final day of the regular season Thursday.

The title will belong to either third-ranked Fountain Valley, fourth-ranked Huntington Beach, or will be shared between the Barons and Oilers.

Fountain Valley saw its one-game lead in the Sunset standings disappear at home Tuesday when rival Edison took a 1-0 victory in a well-played, eight-inning contest. That same day at Huntington Beach, the host Oilers scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh innings to pull out a 7-6 victory over Los Alamitos.

With one game left on the schedule, Fountain Valley and Huntington share first place with 12-2 records. Both teams go on the road Thursday, the Barons to Edison and the Oilers to Los Alamitos.

"It comes down to Thursday," Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said. "It shows how tough it is in this league. This is Sunset League baseball. Nothing is ever easy."

Edison denied defending champion Fountain Valley from clinching a tie for the league title with Tuesday's win. The Chargers, who have third place and a CIF Southern Section playoff berth wrapped up, scored the game's lone run on an RBI double up the gap in left-center field by Parker Quenneville with one out in the top of the eight. Junior Noah Kronfly gave up a two-out double to Daniel Patzlaff, Fountain Valley's lead-off hitter whose big offensive outing included three doubles, in the bottom of the eighth, but ended the game on an infield ground out.

Kronfly smattered five hits and struck out one without allowing a walk to improve to 7-1.

"This was a playoff-caliber type of game, opponent and atmosphere, something we needed to go through," Edison Coach Cameron Chinn said. "Offensively, we did not do a good job. If it weren't for Noah Kronfly's leadership and command on the mound, we wouldn't have won this game.

"Our goal right now is to play better, and today was a start."

Quenneville, Adam Moses (double) and Dylan Sneed each had three hits for Edison which improved to 9-5 in league and 18-8 overall.

In addition to Patzlaff's three doubles, Junior Aguilar and Dillon Persinger singled for Fountain Valley which had a six-game win streak snapped and was shut out for just the second time this season.

The Barons got to Kronfly early in the team's first meeting and beat the Chargers, 7-1, April 4.

"Kronfly did a good job today and deserved the win," said Yanagisawa whose Barons fell to 18-7 overall. "He was clutch on his pitches with two outs and worked from behind on a few batters."

Huntington trailed Los Alamitos, 1-0, scored five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-1 lead, but gave up five consecutive runs to fall behind, 6-5, only to score the game's final two runs to claim a 7-6 victory, it's 20th win of the season.

Down to their final two outs, the Oilers rallied. Daniel Amaral and Tyler Murray hit consecutive singles. With two out, Clint Jack singled up the middle to drive in the tying run. An intentional walk to Logan Pouelsen loaded the bases and Cooper Moore ended the game when his single up the middle brought in the winning run.

"The place was rocking," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said of the Senior Day game crowd that erupted when the comeback was complete.

Coupled with Fountain Valley's loss to Edison, it put the Oilers into a first-place tie.

Huntington is seeking its first Sunset title since 2004.

Jack went two for three, Jarrett Anton doubled and drove in three runs and Jake Brodt doubled. Pouelsen (2-0)saw relief action in the seventh and got the win.

In the other Sunset League game Tuesday, Marina fell, 4-3, at Newport Harbor. Connor McCollum went two for three with a double and RBI and Landon Marshall had an RBI double for the Vikings who slipped to 2-12 in league and 7-18 overall.

In a Golden West League game Tuesday, Ocean View couldn't come back from an early, 2-0 deficit, and dropped a 3-1 decision to host Orange. Brandon Nicholson went two for three and Joseph Romero had an RBI single for the Seahawks (16-9 overall, 9-5 league).

In previous games from Friday, Fountain Valley beat Marina, 8-1, Huntington blanked Edison, 6-0, and Ocean View edged Westminster, 2-1.

Justin Cobb, Dillon Persinger and Dan Rosica each had two hits, and pitcher Scott Schultz went to 12-0 in Fountain Valley's 8-1 home win over Marina. Austin Sojka went three for four with a double for Marina.

Pouelsen's grand slam in the bottom of the third inning allowed Huntington Beach to distance itself from visiting Edison and propelled the Oilers to a 6-0 victory. The sophomore got ahold of a fastball and sent a sharp line drive to right field that just cleared the fence and ricocheted off the bottom of the scoreboard. His grand slam, the first of his career and third homer of the season, turned a one-run game into a comfortable lead for Huntington.

"The whole dugout erupted on Logan's hit," Medure said. "It changed the game dramatically.

"With a five-run lead, and Noah [Davis] on the mound, we felt pretty good about our chances."

Pitcher Noah Davis, whom Medure said gave an "awesome" performance, retired the side in four of the six innings he pitched. The junior right-hander scattered three hits, two of which never made it out of the infield, to improve to 9-1. Davis was backed by an error-free defense including senior Dillon Millar who made two, stellar defensive plays in center field to start both the top of the fourth and fifth innings.

Tyler Murray's RBI double brought in the final Huntington in the bottom of the sixth.

Wyatt Adams, Nick Mailman and Brian Schales had hits for Edison.

Bobby Evans drove in a run, Brian Schlosser (double) and Ben Myers had hits, and Braydon Salzman (5-3) threw a four-hitter for Ocean View in its 2-1 win at Westminster.

The regular season comes to an end Thursday for local teams. In addition to the 3:15 p.m. Fountain Valley-Edison and Huntington-Los Alamitos clashes, Marina is home to Newport Harbor in a Sunset League finale, and Ocean View closes out Golden West League play at 3:15 p.m. hosting Orange.

The CIF Southern Section baseball playoff pairings will be released Monday. Wild-card games are at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday (Division 2, 4, 6) and Wednesday (Division 1, 3, 5, 7). First-round games are at 3:15 p.m. May 23.

The CIF Southern Section Division 1, 2 and 3 championship games are June 6 at Dodger Stadium.

CIF Weekly Rankings

Fountain Valley (No. 3, Division 1); Huntington Beach (No. 4, Division 1).

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