Through the first six weeks of the Sunset League baseball race, nobody had been able to get the best of Edison.
Through easy wins and being able to survive a few close calls, the Chargers were seated comfortably in the driver's seat as they cruised to a repeat league championship. But on Tuesday at Marina, they hit a bump in the road.
Edison, the top-ranked team in CIF Division 1, was handed its first league loss by Marina, which rode a complete-game performance by senior Mitch Huffman to knock off the Chargers, 3-2. The outcome left Edison (22-3) at 13-1 in league play, while Marina held on to second place at 8-5-1. The Vikings hold a half game lead over Fountain Valley, which is 8-6.
"Anytime you are playing Edison, you are in for a fight," first-year Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. (Edison) head coach Steve Lambright and his assistant coaches do a phenomenal job of getting their team prepared to play. Edison had some of the best players in the county and it is an honor to beat these guys on our home field."
Huffman gave up six hits in improving to 1-1 — with two saves — in league. He gained his first league win after senior Travis Peugh came through with a walk-off hit up the gap in left-center field in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Senior Chris Martinez kept the inning alive when he delivered a two-out double, setting the stage for Peugh. Martinez scored the winning run, touching off a wild celebration among his teammates who rushed him after he crossed home plate.
Peugh went three for four and senior Nick Marshall and sophomore Tyler Mildenberg both drove in runs for the Vikings, who improved to 16-9-1 and evened the season league series (1-1) with the Chargers.
Edison won the first meeting between the teams, 3-0, at Edison on April 1.
For Edison, senior Dalton Douty threw 5 2/3 innings and gave up two runs. Senior Eric Snyder went three for three and seniors Christian Lopes and Jon Torres each had a run batted in.
The Vikings and Chargers complete their league series at 3 p.m. Thursday at Edison. Marshall said that senior Jake Tillinghast (2-3 in league, 5-3 overall) will get the start for Marina.
In other Sunset League baseball action Tuesday, Fountain Valley fell, 4-1, at Los Alamitos, and Newport Harbor scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning to knock off host Huntington Beach, 5-1.
In Golden West League play Tuesday, Ocean View routed Segerstrom twice, beating the Jaguars, 13-0, on May 4, and 15-0 Friday. Colton Johnson (3-1) got the win, Timmy Robinson had three hits and Robert Fogarty had two hits and drove in three runs in the 13-0 win. Freddy Sepulveda (4-1) struck out 10 and didn't allow a walk in four innings in Friday's 15-0 victory.
In addition to the Marina/Edison game, Thursday's Sunset League schedule has Huntington Beach at Newport Harbor and Fountain Valley hosting Los Alamitos. Ocean View travels to Santa Ana for a Golden West League game.
Los Alamitos wrapped up the Sunset League championship Tuesday by edging visiting Edison, 3-2, in nine innings.
Senior Madison Hickman went four for five with a solo home run in the top of the first inning and junior Sammy Cordova threw a solid game for the Chargers, ranked fourth in Division 1 and now 7-2 in league and 24-5 overall.
Los Alamitos, ranked second in Division 1, is 9-0 in league.
In other Sunset League play Tuesday, Marina blanked visiting Huntington Beach, 2-0, and Fountain Valley hammered Newport Harbor, 10-0, in a game called after five innings.
Tera Blanco and Kristen Struett combined on a one-hitter for Marina. Sandy Simmons and Amanda Cordeiro both doubled for the Vikings, who improved to 6-3 in league and 17-6-1 overall.
In a key Golden West League battle Monday that pitted the second- and third-ranked teams in Division 4, No. 3 Ocean View fell, 1-0, at No. 2 Segerstrom. The Seahawks are now 7-2 in league and 17-6 overall.
In softball league finales Thursday, Marina is at Edison, Fountain Valley hosts Los Alamitos and Huntington Beach travels to Newport Harbor.