Marina's season was on the line heading into the bottom of the seventh inning of Tuesday's CIF Southern Section Division 1 baseball playoff game, the Vikings two runs down to Esperanza. But there was immediate hope as they loaded the bases with just one out. The Vikings, however, could not push a run across and ended up with a 2-0 loss to the Aztecs.
"I thought we might do it there, at the end," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said.
Marina did look as though it would climb back into the game after sophomore Austin Sokja hit a lead-off single and junior Jake Bauers drew a walk, to start the bottom of the seventh. An out later, and after Esperanza pulled starting pitcher Scott Mason and replaced the left-hander with their ace, Brandon Luper, designated hitter Grant Mayeaux singled to the right side of the field to load the bases. Luper, a junior, got out of the jam by retiring the next two Vikings to close out the win and send Century League champion Aztecs on to a quarterfinal date Friday with Mater Dei.
Esperanza scored both of its runs in the top of the fourth when Kevin Viers hit a triple to drive in one run.
Both teams had four hits. Junior Jack Westermeyer (3-1) threw the first six innings for the Vikings and sophomore James Myers retired the side in the top of the seventh.
"When Jake [Arledge] started the game for us with that shot to right field [for a single], I thought we'd be on the ball today," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "But, we didn't capitalize on our hitting and that cost us. We just couldn't get that one hit that could get us back into it.
"I thought Jack [Westermeyer] did a great job today and he was phenomenal all year for us."
Marina, the No. 2 team from the Sunset League, ended its year 17-11. The Vikings defeated Lakewood in a first-round game last Friday.
"I tip my hat to this team," Marshall said of his ball club. "We were picked to finish fifth in league this year, and seventh, last year, and both years, we finished in second [place]. This is bittersweet today because we had a good year."
Another second-round game Tuesday in the Division 1 playoffs put two other Sunset and Century league teams up against each other. Huntington Beach, a wild-card entry from the Sunset, fell, 6-1, at El Dorado. The Golden Hawks finished second to Esperanza in the Century League. Senior Ryan West went two for three with an RBI and senior Matt Urabe went two for three for the Oilers.
Huntington, which beat Great Oak in a wild-card game and last Friday beat fourth-ranked Long Beach Poly, finished the year 20-9. The Oilers played three postseason games, all on the road.
In the CIF-SS softball playoffs Tuesday:
Edison 13, Canyon/Anaheim 0: The Chargers racked up 19 hits and 13 runs on the road to blitz the Commanches (Century League No. 2) in a second-round Division 1 game. Junior Sammy Cordova threw a two-hitter, senior Mercedes O'Connor went four for five, and senior Casey Africano and junior Carissa Sherman both went three for four. The Chargers, the No. 2 team from the Sunset League, move on to face Trinity League champ Orange Lutheran in a 3:15 p.m. quarterfinal road game Thursday. Earlier this year, the Lancers defeated the Chargers, 4-2, in the semifinals of the Laguna Hills Tournament on March 14.
La Habra 6, Ocean View 5: The host Highlanders scored the winning run on a two-out fielding error in the bottom of the seventh inning in a Division 4 second-round game. Ocean View, the No. 2 team from the Golden West League, closed out a 17-10 season.