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Huntington Beach baseball opens Surf League play with win over Fountain Valley

Huntington Beach High pitcher Eddie Pelc and his teammates never forgot the 20-4 drubbing they received from Fountain Valley last season.

They used that as motivation Friday.

Pelc threw five innings, scattering five hits and allowing one run in an 11-1 Oilers’ victory. With the win, Huntington Beach improved to 10-2 overall, 1-0 in the Surf League.

Cole Wentz led the Barons going two for three with two doubles while UCLA commit Jake Brooks went one for three driving home Fountain Valley’s only run.

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Pelc, who’s headed to San Diego State next season, says he and his teammates were driven by their lopsided loss to the Barons last season. “We definitely used it,” he said. “It fueled us 100%.”

The Barons (5-7, 0-1) threatened in the top of the first inning as Wentz doubled with two outs but was thrown out at home trying to score on a Connor Bennett single by Oilers’ center fielder Jake Vogel.

The Oilers’ offense made Pelc’s job easy, jumping all over Brooks, who started for the Barons. Brooks’ future UCLA teammate, Vogel, knocked a two-run home run over the left-field fence after Josh Hahn, also a UCLA commit, reached base on an error. Three batters later, Dylan Ramirez drove in Brett Barrera, Jag Burden and Cole DiMarco on a bases-clearing double, staking the Oilers to an early 5-0 lead.

Barons coach Deric Yanagisawa criticized his team’s play in all phases of the game. “We shoot ourselves in the foot,” he said. “I don’t know how many times we left runners on base. We had second and third no outs, and we can’t get runs across, man on third, and we can’t get runs across. It’s really wearing on us, and it’s costing us games.”

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The Oilers’ onslaught continued in the second inning. First, Barrera drove a solo home run to left field. Then Ramirez knocked in DiMarco for his fourth run of the game with another double, this time to left field to make it 7-0.

Fountain Valley did get to Pelc in the top of the fourth inning. Wentz doubled on a 1-0 pitch, moved to third base on a Bennett single and scored when Brooks doubled to dead center field, all with no outs.

That is all the Barons would score as Pelc buckled down. With Barons on second and third, Pelc struck out Ryan Sullivan and induced back-to-back groundouts to end the inning.

Oilers’ head coach Benji Medure said he was impressed by Pelc’s grit. “I don’t think he had his best stuff,” Medure said. “His change-up was up, but he was able to locate his fastball. The fact that he succeeded with the way they can swing the bat just comes down to his will to win.”

The Oilers would top off their win with a double by Joe Yost, driving in Lucas Catano followed by an RBI triple by Cole Minato to drive in Yost. The Oilers finished their scoring with a single by Hahn, driving in Minato.

Hahn relieved Pelc in the sixth inning and Cole Tague finished the game on the mound in the seventh.

The Oilers return to the field in a Surf League matchup, at home, against Los Alamitos Wednesday, at 3:15 p.m.

The Barons face Marina, currently ranked No. 7 in Division 3, in the Halo Classic Tuesday at Angels Stadium at 3:15 p.m.

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ANTHONY CIARDELLI is a contributor to Times Community News.


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