Trevor Goldenetz’s walk-off hit lifts Huntington Beach baseball team to CIF semifinals

Trevor Goldenetz (27) of Huntington Beach, shown on Tuesday, had the game-winning hit against Santa Margarita on Friday.
Trevor Goldenetz (27) of Huntington Beach, shown against Villa Park on Tuesday, had the game-winning hit against Santa Margarita on Friday in the CIF quarterfinals.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

Huntington Beach had put runners into scoring position all afternoon and achieved nothing from it.

Trevor Goldenetz wasn’t going to let the last opportunity fail.

The Oilers, down to their last strike, pulled out a 3-2, eighth-inning triumph Friday over fourth-seeded Santa Margarita in a CIF Southern Section Division 1 baseball quarterfinal. Goldenetz slapped a 0-2 pitch into left field, bringing home the tying and winning runs and sparking a wild on-field celebration.

“This is the second time I’ve got Gatorade poured on me,” the junior left-fielder said after things settled down. “When I was, like, 11, one time I hit a walk off. But [this is] the most exciting time of my life.”


It was a gritty victory, captured after an error killed a fourth-inning advantage and a bases-loaded walk gave the visitors a lead in the top of the eighth. The win sends fifth-ranked Huntington Beach (23-6) into Tuesday’s Division 1 semifinals at No. 1 Corona (28-3), a 6-4 winner at Aquinas.

It’s the Oilers’ fourth final-four trip in a decade, and one of the rewards is a berth in the CIF Southern California Regional tournament, which will follow next weekend’s sectional championships.

Huntington Beach senior Nathan Aceves, shown pitching against Edison earlier this season.
Huntington Beach senior Nathan Aceves, shown pitching against Edison earlier this season, had a no-hitter into the fifth inning against Santa Margarita.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

“Honestly, I’m more excited that we bought us two more weeks of playing,” said Oilers head coach Benji Medure, who guided Huntington Beach to the regional title two years ago. “I love these guys. Whatever we do on Tuesday, it doesn’t compare to the fact that we can practice and be together for the next couple weeks as a team. And we just extended that.”

Goldenetz played hero, his hit scoring pinch runner Jett Burden from third and John Petrie from second, but the Oilers thrived most of the way behind starting pitcher Nathan Aceves. The senior right-hander took a no-hitter deep into the fifth inning and allowed just two hits and an unearned run while striking out a season-best nine over 6⅔ innings.

Jayton Greer homered over the right-field fence, providing a fourth-inning lead. C.J. Weinstein had two of Huntington Beach’s four doubles, in the fifth and seventh innings, but was stranded at third base both times.

The Oilers, who totaled 10 hits to Santa Margarita’s four, had several chances to build a reasonable advantage. They loaded the bases in the first, fifth and seventh innings but stranded 12 runners in all, eight of them at second or third base. Most of that was against Santa Margarita ace right-hander Cade Townsend, who repeatedly worked out of difficult situations with help from a 96 mile-per-hour fastball and devastating sliders and splitters that Goldenetz called “some of the dirtiest pitches I’ve ever seen.”

“I don’t know how many times we had guys in scoring position and [Santa Margarita] buckled down and made plays and made pitches ...,” Medure said. “I thought we were having really good at-bats. I mean, shoot, [Townsend] is really good, and we did a good job of battling him all day long. We faced a top-two-round [MLB draft] pitcher, and I thought we hit him well all day long. We just couldn’t get that hit in the right time.”

Jayton Greer (50) of Huntington Beach, shown against Villa Park on Tuesday, slugged a home run on Friday.
Jayton Greer (50) of Huntington Beach, shown against Villa Park on Tuesday, slugged a home run against Santa Margarita during Friday’s Division 1 playoff quarterfinal game.
(Don Leach / Staff Photographer)

The Eagles (21-8-1), who have won two CIF titles in the past decade , had reached base just once — a third-inning walk by Jake Lavin, who was thrown out on a stolen-base try for the third out — before Blake Ankrum broke up Aceves’ no-hitter with a two-out single to left field in the fifth.

Carter Enoch followed with a single to deep right-center, and Porter, the right fielder, tried to throw Ankrum out at third. Instead, the ball bounced off third baseman Tony Martinez’s outstretched glove and into the Oilers’ dugout. Ankrum trotted home to make it 1-1 and Enoch was awarded third base. Aceves struck out Jake Lavin to end the threat.

The Eagles went ahead against TCU-committed freshman left-hander Tanner Brown in the eighth. Lavin led off with a double, and after leadoff hitter Brody Schumaker was intentionally walked, the bases were loaded on a Ben Finnegan single to right.

Logan de Groot then walked on five pitches to give Santa Margarita a 2-1 edge, pushing pinch runner Mason Mautino across the plate. Huntington Beach winning pitcher Colin McNiven’s only toss resulted in a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Huntington Beach’s rally began with pinch hitter Phillip Kang’s double off the left-field wall, with Burden taking over at second base. Ethan Russell, the third Santa Margarita pitcher, relieved Chris Saucedo after John Petrie’s line-drive single to right put runners at the corners, sending Petrie to third on a wild pitch. Russell then struck out Porter for the second out and quickly got two strikes on Goldenetz.

“He threw me a changeup low,” Goldenetz said. “I just flicked it over the shortstop’s head. Right when I hit it, I blacked out. I didn’t even know what was happening.”

Soon he was taking a Gatorade shower. Aceves attributed all of it to an intrinsic Oilers trait.

“That’s the toughness about this team, and we talk about that often,” he said. “That grit that we had to pull out that win and stay together, it means everything. That’s why we won the game, our toughness.”

Pacifica Christian also punches CIF semifinal ticket

Pacifica Christian Orange County baseball is also headed to the playoff final four.

The top-seeded Tritons blanked Santa Monica New Roads 12-0 in a Division 8 quarterfinal game on Friday afternoon.

Pacifica Christian (21-6), the San Joaquin League co-champions, will again be home Tuesday in the Diviision 8 semifinals. The Tritons will host San Bernardino (15-4).

Staff writer Matt Szabo contributed to this report.