HUNTINGTON BEACH — Timmy Lopes started things for Edison Tuesday, then polished things off.
Lopes, a senior, opened the scoring and took to the mound in the late stages of Edison's CIF Southern Section Division 1 wild-card baseball game against Chaparral, and his book-end performances capped a 2-0 victory for the host Chargers. He hit a first-inning home run and later came on in relief of starting pitcher Tyler Jones to close out the final 1 2/3 innings.
Lopes struck out three of the six batters he faced.
"This game was a total mirror image of our entire season," Edison Coach Steve Lambright said after Edison improved to 14-13 overall and advanced to play a first-round game at No. 3-seeded JW North. "Timmy Lopes homers, Tyler Jones pitches well, and then Timmy [Lopes] comes in and finishes the job. That's how it's been all year."
Jones gave up four hits but kept Chaparral (13-14, Southwestern League at-large) at a distance for much of his six-plus inning stint. In the top of the sixth, the junior, who entered the game with a 2.04 ERA, gave up a lead-off single to Chris Stratton who eventually moved to third base on an infield error by the Chargers. Jones (5-2) exited the game with runners at the corners and one out. Enter Lopes, who then got the Pumas' Jake Trybulski to strike out looking, and Derek Quinn to ground out to third to end the threat.
Lopes struck out two to start the seventh, gave up a single to Shane Fioresi, then ended the game on a fly out to shallow left field.
"Tyler was pitching a shutout but things could have taken a turn there in the sixth," Lambright said. "I felt bad taking him out, but I felt that I had to bring in my horse [Lopes]. "
Lopes' solo home run in the opening inning provided Edison with what turned out to be the winning run. The Chargers scored their second run in the bottom of the second on an infield throwing error by the Pumas.
Edison entered the wild-card game hitting .236 as a team. The Chargers were outhit by Chaparral, 5-4, but rode pitching and defense, to get the win. Oh, and a big blast by Lopes who Lambright said is heading to UC Irvine.
Lopes came into the postseason with a .404 batting average.
"In my 18 years of coaching, Timmy [Lopes] is the best athlete that I have ever coached," Lambright said. "He's the whole package, physically, mentally, and has the make-up to be very successful at the next level."
Edison now goes to Riverside County Friday for a 3:15 p.m. first-round date with JW North. The Huskies (24-5), the division's defending champion, won the Big VIII League title. Lambright said sophomore right-handed pitcher Dante Capoccia will draw the start. Less than a week ago, Capoccia got his first varsity start on May 10 when the Chargers knocked off Sunset League champion Los Alamitos on the final day of the regular season.
Edison played a wild-card game Tuesday despite finishing third in the Sunset League. During league play, the Chargers won two of three games against champion Los Al and second-place Marina. Now, they face a JW North team that is considered one of the favorites for the division championship.
"We're going into a hornets' nest, but it's a big challenge and a great opportunity for our young team," Lambright said of the trip to Riverside. "We've prepped our guys on what to expect, and we will continue to prep them up until we play Friday. We're excited for the opportunity."
In another Division 1 wild-card game Tuesday, Huntington Beach went on the road to face Great Oak and the Oilers came away with an impressive, 7-0 victory. UCLA-bound Brett Urabe and Jake Caron each had a two-run triple and Christian Abe threw 6 1/3 innings to get the win.
Huntington, an at-large entry from the Sunset League, improved to 19-8. The Oilers move on to face No. 4-seeded Long Beach Poly at 3:15 p.m. Friday in Long Beach. The Jackrabbits (24-6) won the Moore League title.
Great Oak, the No. 3 team from the Southwestern League, finished the year 17-11.
Marina and Ocean View, both earning runner-up finishes in the Sunset and Golden West leagues, respectively, start postseason play at 3:15 p.m. Friday ().
Second-round playoff games in all divisions are at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday ().
Marina: The Vikings (16-10), the No. 2 representative from the Sunset League, travel to face Lakewood to open the Division 1 playoffs Friday. The Lancers (25-6) finished second in the Moore League.
Marina (10-5 league) finished one game behind Los Alamitos in the Sunset standings.
"I am extremely proud of these young men on this team," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "We have gone through a lot as a team on the field as well as off. We had so many distractions that could have buried this team. It was nice to see the maturity and the lessons we had to learn in order to get where we are today.
"These guys came together to sacrifice themselves and give everything they have for the success of this club. Many chose us to battle for the bottom of the league and these players had something to prove. Our goal when we started in September, was to get ourselves in a spot where we could win league. Well, we got close but came up a little short. Hats off to Los Alamitos for taking first. Now our focus is CIF playoffs."
Marina ended the regular season May 10 and lost, 11-4, at Huntington Beach. Senior Kevin Isa hit his first prep home run, a two-run shot, in the fifth inning.
"Kevin is a hard working individual who takes pride in his playing," Marshall said. "I am proud of his accomplishments this year."
Ocean View: The Seahawks begin play Friday in the Division 3 playoffs with a road trip to Whittier. Ocean View is 13-13 overall. The Cardinals (16-10) finished second in the Del Rio League. Seahawks Coach Shane Borowski said that he's "leaning" toward starting senior right-handed pitcher Jonah Desjardin (4-1, 0.74 ERA).
"We have seen Whittier a few times in the American Legion summer league," Borowski said. "They tend to have good athletes and usually have a good arm or two. We are going to need to play solid fundamental baseball against them.
"The playoffs are like the paparazzi — you gotta go with who's hot at the moment. I'm hoping our hot arm, Jonah Desjardin, can get the job done for us."
Ocean View ended regular-season play May 10 and lost out on a share of the Golden West League title (won by Westminster) after being edged, 1-0, at Segerstrom. Borowski said that Desjardin continued his "masterful pitching," by allowing just three hits and an unearned run.
Seahawks senior Timmy Robinson carries a season batting average of .518 average into the postseason. He has 34 RBIs and 43 hits including nine doubles, a triple and an Orange County-leading 11 home runs.
The 2012 season came to an end last week for Fountain Valley and Brethren Christian.
Fountain Valley ended its season with a two-game Sunset League sweep of Newport Harbor. The Barons defeated the Sailors, 6-1, on May 8, then came back May 10 to end their season with a resounding, 11-0 shutout win. In the 11-0 win, senior Tanner Brown and junior Monty Plattner combined on a one-hit shutout, sophomore Dan Patzlaff went four for four and junior Jordan Lucio went three for three.
The Barons ended the year 15-11 overall and went 5-10 in league for fifth place.
"Overall, we had a good season but we fell short of our goals," said Barons Coach Ron LaRuffa whose team won the Beach Pit Classic last month. "We couldn't overcome the loss of senior (pitcher/outfielder) Turner Clouse. Five, one-run run losses in league, kept us from going to the playoffs.
"With five all-leaguers coming back next year, the future looks bright."
Brethren Christian finished up a tough campaign on May 10 at Sage Hill where the Warriors fell, 13-0, in Academy League play. BC ended the year 0-20.