HUNTINGTON BEACH — Marina High baseball Coach Paul Renfrow said he considered it an honor.
But for Henry Owens and Edison, it could be considered more of a big success Wednesday afternoon in the Sunset League game at Marina.
Owens, pitching on just four days rest, struck out 11 and held the Vikings to a run and three hits as Edison won, 5-1. The junior lefty shrugged it off after the game.
“I usually have five days rest, so this is only four,” Owens said. “But I told [Edison Coach Steve Lambright] that my arm is just now getting into season shape. It feels better than ever.”
Owens had pitched for the Chargers (6-3, 2-0 in league) last Friday, as they topped Los Alamitos, 2-0, in their league opener. But Wednesday’s game was a big game.
Want proof? Just look back to last year, when all three games between the Chargers and Vikings were decided by a single run. Edison won two of the three, on the way to the league championship.
“I’m honored that they thought they had to double back with Henry Owens,” Renfrow said. “He threw Friday, a complete game, then came back today. So, you know, that’s a compliment to us. [Lambright] feels that he’s got to throw his best guy at us.”
Initially, it was the Vikings (5-2, 1-1) with the momentum. The hardest hit ball all day against Owens was provided by Marina leadoff batter Robert Chavarria, who doubled to the wall in right and would later score on a wild pitch.
Vikings sophomore pitcher Trevor Megill held Edison to one hit through three innings, but the Chargers would rally.
A.J. Libuano’s RBI double to left scored Jon Torres, tying the game. After catcher Jimmy Madden walked, Timmy Lopes’ grounder to third could have been an inning-ending double play. But the Marina third baseman bobbled the ball, and the bases were loaded.
Tanner Phillips followed with a sacrifice fly to left, and Kyle Jones’ RBI single to left field scored Madden.
Edison added runs in the sixth, when Madden scored on Lopes’ RBI single, and the seventh, when Sean Whiteman came home on a sacrifice fly from Christian Lopes.
The first four RBIs came from Nos. 5 to 9 in the Edison order. Timmy Lopes had a pair of singles, and Madden scored twice.
“As a team, we’re just not hitting as well as we’re capable of,” Lambright said. “The big boys have been struggling. The Lopes brothers and Snyder, it’s been a challenge for us to get those guys going. We’re going to be patient with them. We’re only nine games into the season, and they’ve got too much talent, so I think they’ll come around.
“But it’s good to see that the rest of the ballclub is picking those guys up while they’re struggling a little bit. That’s a team, and that’s what it’s all about. That’s what I want to see from my ballclub.”
Synder did have a fourth-inning single for Edison, and Johnathan Brooks also had a hit for the highly-touted Chargers, who began the season as the top-ranked team in the state according to CalHiSports.
“It’s just, ‘Don’t believe the hype,’ ” Owens said. “That’s what I’d say to that. We’ve got to keep coming out and playing our game.”
For Marina, Megill, Tyler Mildenberg and Chris Martinez added singles. Renfrow relieved Megill with a pair of junior pitchers, Jake Tillinghast and Lucas Kaplan.
“These pitchers will get better as the season goes on,” Renfrow said. “It’s just a matter of playing the game.”
Edison plays at Esperanza on Friday, while Marina is at Fountain Valley.