As a motivator, Ocean View baseball coach Steve Barrett displays ingenuity and resourcefulness. His job necessitates it.
But for Friday's Sunset League game against Fountain Valley, Barrett called upon an unusual source. He drew from the markings of a graffiti artist that appeared overnight on the Seahawks' right-field fence and third base dugout.
And the Seahawks responded by defeating the Barons, 13-2, to earn a share of first place in the Sunset League standings. That victory, along with a victory by Westminister Friday, created a three-way tie for first place: Ocean View, Fountain Valley and Westminister are all 7-4.
That Friday's game was for a share of first was probably enough to challenge even non-title contenders. But Barrett milked the markings for all they were worth.
"It's what everyone at school was talking about," Barrett said of the graffiti that proclaimed Fountain Valley the Sunset champs and made other derogatory statements about Ocean View.
"I just used it to fire the guys up. I think we brought that emotion out here today. They took it kind of personally."
Whether as a response to the drawings or to a big-game challenge, the Seahawks outpouring of offense resulted in a 10-1 lead after three innings and helped extend the Seahawks modest winning streak to three games. In all they collected 16 hits, fueling starting pitcher Randy Karliner's second victory over the Barons.
Karliner, who improved his record to 7-1 and was credited with Ocean View's only other victory over the Barons this season, allowed six hits over six innings. Brent Wilken earned the save for Ocean View, which improved its season record to 15-7.
"It (the graffiti) caught everyone by surprise," Karliner said. "We didn't think anyone would do that. But you can't point the finger at anyone. A bum could have done it."
Fountain Valley Coach Ron La Ruffa, who said he learned of the incident on the way over to Ocean View, indicated he didn't know if any of his players were involved.
Barrett said he didn't know whom to credit or blame for the graffiti. But when asked what he will use for Tuesday's game with Westminister, he deadpanned, "I'm wondering that myself. We can't play much better."
In the Empire League:
Katella 3, Esperanza 2 (11 innings)--Katella's Billy Fitzgerald scored the winning run from second base in the bottom of the 11th inning on a strikeout when the pitch got past visiting Esperanza catcher Keith McDonald at Boysen Park.
McDonald, believing batter Chris Marquez had fouled off the pitch, failed to chase the ball immediately, allowing Fitzgerald to score.
Both umpires ruled Marquez had not made contact with the ball. Fitzgerald had reached base on an throwing error by shortstop Jason Bates, the only error in the game. Esperanza led, 2-0, going into sixth on single runs in the fourth and sixth, both coming on sacrifice flies. Katella (13-8, 7-4) tied it on a bases-loaded walk and a wild pitch. Sean Schmidt (2-0) pitched the final three innings for the victory.
In the Freeway League:
Fullerton 3, Sonora 2--Rene Arias (8-2) pitched a seven-hitter with one strikeout-the final out of the game with the bases loaded-for the victory for visiting Fullerton (11-7-1, 8-3). D.C Olsen hit a solo home run in the second for Fullerton, which scored two more in the sixth. Lee Green had an RBI double, went to third on a passed ball and scored on a sacrifice fly by John Bailey for Fullerton.
Sunny Hills 9, Buena Park 3--Jeff Kight went three for three with a home run and four RBIs to lead Sunny Hills (9-2, 15-7) at home. Kight (4-3) also was the winning pitcher. He pitched five innings, allowing seven hits and striking out four.
La Harba 6, Troy 1--Mike Rivera (2-1) pitched a two-hitter with seven strikeouts for visiting La Habra (9-8, 5-6). Troy made three errors to help La Habra. David Stevens had an RBI single, and Tim Moore and Jamie Hutcherson had two hits each for La Habra.
In the Garden Grove league:
Kennedy 7, Los Amigos 1--Greg Hansell (8-1) pitched a three-hitter with eight strikeouts for host Kennedy (18-4, 9-1). Scott Ethington had two hits and two RBIs, Paul Ruark had two hits and Steve Rath had two hits each for Kennedy. Rath singled in the fifth for his 100th career hit. He broke the school record earlier this season. Los Amigos is 2-8, 5-17.
Pacifica 2, Bolsa Grande 1 (8 innings)--Bolsa Grande pitcher Jerry Maldonado (6-5) had a no-hitter for seven innings, but lost both the no-hitter and the game when Pacifica pushed across a run on a walk and three singles. Pacifica (12-8, 8-2) scored an unearned run in the first, but Bolsa Grande (10-9, 3-7) tied it, 1-1, in the fifth on a single by Andy Miramontes and a Rick Tanantardini triple. It was Tanantardini's third triple of the season and his 27th RBI.
In the bottom of the eighth, Maldonado walked John Anderson, then loaded the bases on bunt singles by Tom Castellano and John Flatten. Chris Shockley followed with an RBI single.
Pacifica pitcher John Kline (5-2) went all the way for the victory, surrendering 8 hits, walking 2, and striking out 3.
Rancho Alamitos 10, Garde Grove 3--Tim Mora had a three-run home run in the first inning as host Rancho Alamitos opened a 5-0 lead. Moore also had an RBI double later in the game. Rod McCall had three hits and two RBIs, and Paul Lee had a double and two RBIs for Rancho Alamitos (5-5, 11-8). Chris Culbert (3-1) allowed 10 hits and had two strikeouts for the victory.
La Quinta 6, Santiago 3--Jason Parsons hit a pair of two-run homers for the Aztecs (17-5-1, 7-3) at La Quinta. Parsons has nine home runs on the season. Jason Cherms had two hits, including a solo home run, for La Quinta. Corey Giuliano (9-2) pitched 1 2/3 innings in relief for the victory.
In the Orange League:
Brea-Olinda 8, Valencia 5--Host Brea (9-11, 5-6) scored six runs in the first inning to take control. Chad Marlow had three hits and two RBI for Brea. Marlow had a RBI single, and Matt Seeland had a two-run double in the first for Brea. Aaron Charlton (4-2) pitched a complete game for the victory.
In the Pacific Coast League:
Laguna Beach 9, Woodbridge 5--Aaron Scheid pitched the first 4 2/3 innings for the victory and Clark Carman pitched the final 2 1/3 for the save for host Laguna Beach (7-12, 3-8). Josh Borella hit a solo home, Gary Hitzler had an RBI triple, and Scheid had two hits, scored two runs and had two RBIS. David Crain scored three runs.
In the Olympic League:
Orange Luthran 2, Ontario Chirstian 1--Mark Carrillo (3-0) allowed two hits in five innings for the victory, and Kent Dowding pitched the final two innings for the save. Todd Dudley hit a solo homer in the first and Mike Rossi had a one-out single, stole second and scored on a fielder's choice after a passed ball moved him to third. Orange Lutheran (11-8-1, 9-2)is in second place in the league.
In the Sea View League:
Corona del Mar 7, Saddleback 5--Matt Goldstein (3-1) pitched 6 2/3 for the victory and J.T. Patton retired the final batter for the save for visiting Corona del Mar (7-13, 4-7). John Paulsen had two hits and two RBIs, and Chris Kehrli had a hit and two RBI for Corona del Mar.
Estancia 9, Newport Harbor 2--Host Estancia's 14-hit attack included a three-hit performance by senior third baseman Rob Nye, who scored three runs and knocked in one. Mark Hartley had two hits and two stolen bases and an RBI. Sean Nichols had two hits and an RBI and scored a run for Estancia. Junior left-hander Greg Brannis (5-3) survived a rocky first inning, when he gave up four hits and two runs, to shut down visiting Newport Harbor the rest of the way. He had nine strikeouts.
Estancia is 15-6, 8-3. Newport Harbor is 1-10 in league play.
In the Academy League:
Liberty Christian 10, Cal Lutheran 0--Junior left-hander Chris Buckels (7-1) struck out 12 and walked two en route to a four-hit shutout over host Cal Lutheran. He has struck out 79 batters in 39 innings this season.