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Josh Hahn, Huntington Beach shut out Laguna Beach

Huntington Beach High baseball coach Benji Medure has had many reach out to congratulate him on his 300th career win in the past week.

Medure reached the milestone last Saturday, when the Oilers swept San Jose Bellarmine College Prep in a doubleheader at home.

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The good times have continued for Huntington Beach, and people continue to want an audience with the longtime Oilers head coach.

Following a 6-0 win over visiting Laguna Beach on Friday, Medure’s 5-year-old daughter Giovana ran to his side. She had a gold chain with the No. 300 hanging around her neck, one that was long enough to nearly come down to her waist.

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“It was cool,” Medure said in looking back on the accomplishment. “My high school coach [Jim McNamara] was here for it, and he gave me this chain. It was pretty cool that I got to share it with him because I was there when he won 300 [at Riverside Poly].”

Huntington Beach (6-1) has grown into one of the strongest baseball programs in Orange County, and its talent was on display in Friday’s shutout.

Huntington Beach High starter Josh Hahn pitches against Laguna Beach in the first inning of a Sunset Conference crossover game on Friday.
Huntington Beach High starter Josh Hahn pitches against Laguna Beach in the first inning of a Sunset Conference crossover game on Friday. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

Josh Hahn, a UCLA commit, struck out 10 over five scoreless innings to get the win against Laguna Beach (7-2). The left-hander allowed just two hits and one walk.

Hahn struck out the side in the first inning and ended his afternoon with a solo home run in the sixth inning.

Hahn, whose fastball was routinely clocked in the upper 80s, has not allowed a run this season. He said that it is easy to focus on throwing strikes with the defense that he has behind him.

“It’s just a matter of throwing strikes and letting them swing the bat,” Hahn said. “If they make contact, our defense is just rock solid. They make play after play for us, and it’s just about making pitches.”

Stanford-bound second baseman Brett Barrera made two outstanding plays up the middle on his backhand, showing a quick release to get the ball to first base in time.

“Ever since I got here, we’ve been working on that same play up the middle,” Barrera said. “I’ve probably taken that same play 10,000 times in a year.

“At that point, it’s just habit for me. It’s just on reaction. You don’t think when you do it.”

The Oilers provided Hahn with an early lead, getting to Breakers starter Cutter Clawson for five runs in the first two innings. Barrera drove in Hahn with a single in the first, and Cole Minato followed with a two-run home run to left field.

Huntington Beach High's Cole Minato (2) jogs to home plate after he hit a two-run homer during the first inning against Laguna Beach in a Sunset Conference crossover game on Friday.
Huntington Beach High's Cole Minato (2) jogs to home plate after he hit a two-run homer during the first inning against Laguna Beach in a Sunset Conference crossover game on Friday. (Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

In the second inning, Ken Takada roped a double to left to begin the inning. Nick Upstill brought him home with a single, scoring on a wild pitch later in the inning.

Breakers coach Jeff Sears said that the move to the Sunset Conference would be tough on his team, especially after losing two starters from last season. Christian Holm (ankle) and Jared Angus (hand) were both injured on plays sliding into second base, and both injuries required surgery.

“Every game is going to be a dogfight for us,” Sears said. “We don’t have the numbers that all of these guys have. We don’t have the players that these guys have. You look out there and every guy is going somewhere, or every guy is a dude.”

Catcher Aidan Booth reached base twice for the Breakers with a single and a walk. Kolton Freeman also had an outfield assist, throwing out Lucas Catano at home plate to end the sixth inning.

After Will Potratz hit a line drive off the left-field wall, Upstill played the carom and ended the game by throwing out the Breakers’ left fielder at second base.

The Oilers won their fourth straight game, while the Breakers had a six-game winning streak snapped.

Huntington Beach, ranked No. 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, will host No. 5 JSerra (4-3) on Tuesday at 3 p.m., but the Oilers are not looking at any opponent on the schedule as a marquee matchup.

“We have a ton of respect for Coach [Brett] Kay and JSerra, but I think when we’re going well, it really doesn’t matter who we play,” Medure said. “We’re just going to play the game the way we’re taught. We’ll play hard, and we’ll live with whatever it is. I don’t think that we try to turn it up for a team that is a big-name team. We’re going to try to play the same way.

“I think that’s been the recipe for our success lately is just whoever we play, we’re going to play the same way and see what happens.”

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