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Edison falls short of sweeping baseball series with Los Alamitos

Edison High started strong in its bid to sweep its Surf League baseball series with Los Alamitos, pushing across one run and getting two runners into scoring position before the first out in Friday’s clash on the road.

Things then deteriorated, and fast. The Chargers got nothing more for their first at-bats, handed Los Alamitos five unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning, and failed to hit safely after the third inning en route to a 6-2 defeat that tightened the standings in the Sunset Conference’s better four-team grouping.

The Griffins delivered four two-out hits after third baseman Hunter Baclig misplayed a would-be inning-ending grounder by Jared Anderson, added another run on a two-out single in the fourth, and made it stand up as Zach Peters didn’t surrender a hit in three innings of relief.

“We weren’t ready to play today. We couldn’t play catch too well,” Edison coach Cameron Chinn said. “We had a chance to get out of the [first] inning, and we just couldn’t make [plays].”

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The Chargers (12-7, 3-2 in league) fell two games in the loss column behind Huntington Beach, which is away from league battles while playing this week in the Boras Classic South tournament and next week at the National High School Invitational in North Carolina. Edison sits just a game ahead of Los Alamitos (6-9, 2-3) with two-game sets remaining against Fountain Valley (5-10, 0-3) and the Oilers (13-4, 3-0), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.

The Griffins overcame four errors in the first two innings, three hit batters and three walks to claim the victory after a walk-off 4-3 loss at home in the series opener two weeks earlier and an 8-1 defeat at Edison on Wednesday.

“Absolutely [a big win],” Los Alamitos coach Matt Nuez said. “We just want to control our destiny by, hopefully, finishing in the top two [to make the playoffs]. We’ll just see what happens.”

Edison High’s Blake Morton hits a solo homer in the second inning against Los Alamitos during a Surf
Edison High's Blake Morton hits a solo homer in the second inning of a Surf League game at Los Alamitos on Friday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

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Edison managed just four hits, two of them by first baseman Blake Morton. He homered over the right-field fence — with a steady wind blowing that way — in the second inning, and brought the tying run to the plate in the third after Luke Serven was hit by a pitch to start the inning and Morton singled to right with two outs. Matt Swartz lined out to left to end the threat.

Chinn wasn’t pleased with his team’s approach at the plate.

“We take too many strike threes,” he said. “We don’t open the zone well with two strikes, and we don’t do a good job of competing. ... We played pretty good on Wednesday, and I thought we played well the first round of league. I think 3-2 with the tiebreaker over these guys puts us at a decent spot, but we’re not playing as well as we’re capable of.

“We need to mature more. I think we need to practice harder. And I think we need to control our emotions.”

Los Alamitos right-hander Zach Locke hit Garrett Runyan with the game’s second pitch, and Runyan stole second and went to third on Kannon Morgan’s single to right. Runyan scored and Morgan went to second when Locke’s pickoff throw to third glanced off Ethan Overby’s glove, and Locke followed with an error of his own, throwing the ball in the outfield while trying to catch Morgan off base on a little grounder by Caden Aoki.

Edison High’s Garrett Runyan, left, steals home base after an error by Los Alamitos in the first inn
Edison High's Garrett Runyan, left, takes off for home after an error in the first inning of a Surf League game at Los Alamitos on Friday.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Locke got out of trouble, picking off Aoki at first, striking out Baclig, and getting Caden Kendle on a fly out to center.

Things fell apart in the bottom of the inning. Overby walked with one out, and Corey Patterson singled to left with two out. Baclig’s error let Overby home with the tying run, Drew Emmons delivered a two-run single, Dallas Burke tripled to the wall in center field to bring home another, and Peters’ single made it 5-1.

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The Griffins’ fourth-inning run was earned, with Patterson driving in Kenui Huey. The lead was more than enough for Los Alamitos to earn its first win over Edison this season.

SCOTT FRENCH is a contributor to Times Community News.


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