Huntington Beach defeated visiting Marina, 6-4, Friday to earn the Sunset League's final automatic berth for the Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs, knocking out Marina in the process.
Huntington Beach (18-9, 8-6 in league) finished third behind Servite and champion Fountain Valley. Marina ends the season 17-10, 7-7.
The Oilers took the lead with three runs in the third inning. Trailing, 5-0, in the sixth, Marina scored four runs but stranded the potential tying and go-ahead runs. Huntington Beach added a run in the bottom of the sixth, when pinch-runner Brett Fish scored from third on a delayed double steal.
Huntington Beach received a strong performance from junior right-hander Ryan Evans (4-0), who was making his first start. Evans, who had not previously pitched more than two innings in one appearance, held Marina scoreless through five innings. Viking left-handed senior starter Jim Sipkovich (5-4) took the loss.
Evans was relieved with two outs in the sixth after giving up two runs. Senior left-hander Bryce Dillard, who started in left field, pitched a scoreless seventh to earn his second save. Dillard also drove in two runs with sacrifice flies.