Bill Whiteley, Westminster High School coach, got together with an old buddy Tuesday afternoon. It was Mike Dodd, the best man in Whiteley’s wedding, the man Whiteley served under as an assistant coach for two years, and the man who happens to coach at rival Huntington Beach.
For the third time this season, Whiteley came away from the reunion considerably happier than Dodd. Westminster beat Huntington Beach, 5-3, to move into a tie for second place in the Sunset League and complete a sweep of the meetings between these teams. The Lions are 6-6 in league play. Three of those victories were against Huntington Beach.
Westminster pitcher John Gonzales wiggled his way out of one jam after another to get the victory Tuesday, raising his record to 7-4. Huntington Beach left the bases loaded in the third and fifth innings, and got all three of its runs on a bases-loaded double by Coley McLendon in the sixth inning. By that time, Westminster had built a 5-0 lead.
Freshman Ryan Klesko had a two-out, two-run double for the Lions in the first inning and Robert Martinez had RBI sacrifice flies in the third and fifth as Westminster simply delivered the clutch hits that Huntington Beach (6-6, 10-10) could not. Leadoff hitter Al Rodriguez scored three runs for the Lions and Klesko and Dean Eddy had two hits each.
Whiteley said his team was fortunate it didn’t have to face Oiler ace Jeff Haack in any of the three games. Haack, who has signed a letter of intent to attend UC Irvine next fall, is 8-2 and is among the Orange County leaders in strikeouts. With him on the mound, the Oilers are in every game. Without him . . .
“Our kids just won’t play unless Jeff Haack is pitching,” Dodd said. “They’ve just had it too good.
In other Sunset League games:
Fountain Valley 5, Marina 0--Terry Reichert’s three-run homer in the first inning carried the Barons to the win at Fountain Valley. Steve Kaloper threw a two-hitter in raising his record to 6-2.
Ocean View 6, Edison 3--Phil Chess hit a two-run double at Mile Square Park to help the Seahawks clinch the league title.