Baseball season ends prematurely for local squads

The Marina and Huntington Beach high baseball teams had a few opportunities to put runs on the scoreboard in their second-round CIF Southern Section Division 1 playoff games, but neither could capitalize and saw their seasons come to an end.

In a pair of matchups pitting Sunset League teams against two from the Century League, Marina fell, 2-0, to visiting Esperanza, while Huntington lost, 6-1, at El Dorado.

Marina's season was on the line heading into the bottom of the seventh inning against Esperanza, but the Vikings had immediate hope as they loaded the bases with one out. The Vikings, however, could not push a run across and the victory by the seventh-ranked Aztecs, champions of the Century League, sent them to Friday's quarterfinal game against Mater Dei.

"I thought we might do it there, at the end," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said.

Esperanza scored both of its runs in the top of the fourth, where 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, I thought we'd be on the ball today," 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.

Marina, the No. 2 team from the Sunset League, ended its year 17-11. The Vikings went on the road Friday and defeated eighth-ranked Lakewood (25-7, Moore League No. 2), 2-0, in a first-round game.

Huntington's road warriors couldn't come up with another postseason triumph. The Oilers, playing their third straight postseason game on the road, were knocked off by El Dorado. The Oilers loaded the bases with one out in the fifth, and had runner at second and third base in the sixth, but couldn't score on either occasion. Senior Ryan West went two for three with an RBI and senior Matt Urabe went two for three for the Oilers.

The Golden Hawks finished second to Esperanza in the Century League.

"We ran into a buzz saw today," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said of El Dorado. "They played well and we didn't. Not a recipe for success in the playoffs."

In addition to Marina taking on Lakewood, the first-round Friday also featured another matchup between the Sunset and Moore leagues when Huntington Beach went to Long Beach Poly. The Oilers pulled off a 2-1 victory over the fourth-ranked Jackrabbits (24-7, Moore League champs).

Senior Shane Grace struck out eight and tamed Poly for the win.

Huntington (20-9), an at-large team from the Sunset, earned the right to face Poly after defeating Great Oak, 7-0, in a wild-card game May 15.

"In the playoffs, there is only one team out of 32 going home happy," Medure said. "It is very tough to win the whole thing, especially with the quality of baseball in Division 1. I am proud of the fact that our guys invested into our program and bought into our system. They believed in our program and played for each other. As a head coach, that is all that I can ask for."

In other first-round games Friday, Edison and Ocean View both had their seasons come to an end.

Edison, the No. 3 team from the Sunset League, went to Riverside for a date with defending Division 1 champion J.W. North. The Charges (13-14) trailed only 2-1 entering the fifth, but the third-ranked Huskies (25-5, Big VIII League champ) erupted over the next two innings to pull away, 11-2. Sophomore Brian Schales went two for three and drove in two runs and sophomore Dante Capoccia doubled twice for Edison, which started the postseason May 15 with a 2-0 wild-card game win over Chaparral.

In Division 3, Ocean View was on the road to face Del Rio League runner-up Whittier and the host Cardinals (17-10) scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning to emerge with a 5-4 win at Santa Fe High in Santa Fe Springs. Senior Timmy Robinson hit his 12th home run of the season and finished two for three with three RBIs for the Seahawks.

Ocean View, the No. 2 team from the Golden West League, ends its year at 13-14.

Twitter: @MikeSciacca

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