The senior class has done a lot of winning for the Huntington Beach High baseball team.
Pitcher Dylan Ramirez said 10 of the 12 seniors were on the Oilers’ Sunset League championship freshman team in 2016, which finished with a 30-4 overall record.
Three years on varsity have also produced three outright league titles.
On senior day at Huntington Beach, the Oilers clinched their latest outright crown, this one coming in the Surf League. Fittingly, seniors led the way.
Ramirez threw four shutout innings and Josh Hahn hit his ninth home run of the season as Huntington Beach blanked Edison 6-0, clinching its third straight league title and fifth in six seasons.
“We did this last year,” Oilers coach Benji Medure said. “We clinched with a week left, and we played the absolute worst game at Edison and they beat us [5-1]. I’ve never been more upset with my team than after that one. Even if it doesn’t matter, that’s not how we do things. That’s not in our culture. We’ve got to compete every single day like it’s the CIF championship, and I fully expect to do that on Thursday.”
The Chargers (16-12, 4-4) still clinched second place in the league and are headed to the CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoffs after Fountain Valley upset Los Alamitos 3-1 in 15 innings on Tuesday. Edison is a game up on Los Alamitos (3-5 in league) and owns the head-to-head tiebreaker after winning two of three league meetings with the Griffins.
Medure said he would start either Hahn or senior Edward Pelc on the mound Thursday. Edison coach Cameron Chinn said he would start sophomore Caden Aoki, who is 6-1 with a 1.16 earned-run average this season.
Huntington Beach jumped on Edison starting pitcher Matt Swartz in the first inning Tuesday, batting around and scoring four runs. Jag Burden and Cole Minato each singled, before Hahn’s double off the wall in center scored Burden. After Brett Barrera’s walk loaded the bases, Nick Upstill roped a run-scoring single to right.
Hahn scored on a wild pitch, and Ken Takada added an RBI single.
“It really just calmed me down,” said Ramirez, who improved to 5-1 after allowing two hits, walking three and striking out four in his four innings of work. “Once I saw the four-run lead, I didn’t have any care on the mound. I just knew I was going to throw strikes and I have a great defense behind me.
“I was really trying to keep the ball down when I had runners on base, just keeping it way off the plate because the umpire had a pretty big zone and he was giving me basically everything on the outside corner. I tried to use that to my advantage.”
Edison got its only two hits from junior leadoff hitter Caden Kendle, including a bunt single on the first pitch of the game. The Chargers drew five walks, reached on one error and were also hit by a pitch four times, but were still shut out for just the second time this season.
Huntington Beach relief pitcher Jeremy Wiegman hit three straight batters with two outs in the sixth to load the bases, but he got out of it when Kendle hit grounder to second. The Chargers left 12 runners on base, including at least one in every inning.
“It’s kind of been the story of a lot of our year, not getting a big hit and guys trying to do too much,” Chinn said. “We had a lot of selfish at-bats today.”
Hahn, who hit a grand slam in Huntington Beach’s 7-2 league win at Edison on March 22, hit a two-run shot to left-center in the sixth inning on Tuesday. He said his ninth homer of the year tied him for third with Huntington Beach hitting coach Jeff Ruziecki in the Oilers’ single-season annals. Hagen Danner holds the single-single record, with 12 home runs in 2017.