The road proved friendly to Marina, Fountain Valley and Ocean View during opening day of league play Friday.
Both Marina and Fountain Valley started Sunset League play with big victories, while Ocean View held on at Santa Ana to take its Golden West League opener. Edison was the lone local team to play at home Friday, and the Chargers were defeated by Newport Harbor.
Marina rode the pitching of Austin Olivas (2-0) and a late scoring push to come away with a 4-1 victory at Los Alamitos. Olivas, a senior, threw a complete game, struck out seven and didn't allow an earned run. Austin Sojka led the Vikings on offense with a three-for-four day that included two doubles. A shot toward second base by Jake Bauers in the top of the sixth inning produced two more runs that provided a cushion for the Vikings.
Los Alamitos entered the game ranked No. 8 in CIF Southern Section Division 1.
"It was a big win for us," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "Los Alamitos is a very strong and talented team that is well coached. We capitalized on their mistakes and had a few timely hits. Austin Olivas kept [Los Al] off balance all game and once Olivas gets a lead, it is very tough for an opposing team to generate a big inning against him. Great win for our team and community."
The Vikings returned to action on Saturday for a nonleague doubleheader at Capistrano Valley and split the games. They rolled to a 10-0 win in the opener, but dropped an 11-6 game to the Cougars, who were ranked No. 7 in Division 1.
Sophomore Steven Gingery delivered six innings of shutout ball, struck out four and allowed only three to earn his second win of the season. Senior Dee Atwood came in to record the final three outs of the game. Bauers belted two home runs to lead the offense.
Senior Jake Arledge homered in the opening inning of the second game for Marina (5-3), which eventually dropped an 11-6 decision to the Cougars.
"We played two quality teams [Los Alamitos, Capo Valley], and it was good for us to compete," Marshall said. "Unfortunately, we lost the second game to Capo Valley. The big game was the Sunset League opener where we needed to snatch a victory early. It was a tough game and with Olivas throwing yet another quality game, it allowed for us set the tone and the tempo early.
"Many times when a pitcher comes out and attacks the zone it allows the tempo of the game to be flowing our way and we will generate enough offense to earn a victory. Olivas does just that when he is on the mound. Our players know if we score a few runs for Olivas, he will take care of the rest. The Sunset League is tough and each victory we earn gets us a little closer to getting us into the playoffs."
Fountain Valley's hot start to the 2013 season got even hotter in its Sunset opener at Huntington Beach. The Barons received contributions from across the board and used a big fourth inning to pull away to a 5-0 victory over the Oilers.
The Barons parlayed an effective performance by senior pitcher Monty Plattner and key hits in the fourth inning to the win.
They won by shutout for the third time in last four starts.
Senior Nic Yang had an RBI single, junior Dillon Persinger, who had a three-for-four game, delivered an RBI single on a hit-and-run play, and senior Jacob Peralta executed a perfect, squeeze bunt that brought home two runs, to highlight a four-run fourth inning by the Barons.
Fountain Valley had taken a 1-0 lead in its first at-bat on a one-out RBI single by junior Justin Brand.
Plattner (4-0) threw six innings before giving way to sophomore Hunter Margain, who closed out the seventh and the game by retiring the Oilers in order.
"Execution. It was all about our execution today," first-year Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said. "We moved guys on base, came up with key hits, like that squeeze and hit-and-run, and we were on today. Those are things we work on, day in, and day out, in practice. Our guys really played well.
"I thought [Plattner] was phenomenal. Monty set the tone early. He did a good job of keeping Huntington Beach off-balance. He's our senior leader and he wanted the ball today."
Junior Jake Brodt went three for three to lead the Oilers (5-3). Junior Dillon Millar doubled in the sixth.
"I told our guys that this is the first time we got beat this year," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "We didn't beat ourselves. [Fountain Valley] executed everything perfectly. I felt that we hit the ball well, but we hit the ball right at somebody."
Fountain Valley (7-1) had its seven-game win streak snapped by fourth-ranked Canyon of Anaheim Saturday in the championship game of the Loara Tournament. The Barons fell, 8-2, in the final at Glover Stadium in Anaheim.
Edison dropped its Sunset opener to visiting Newport Harbor, 5-0. Juniors Dante Cappoccia and Brian Schales, and seniors John Freedman and Jake Lesinski had hits for the Chargers, who fell to 4-4 overall.
Marina, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach and Edison played Sunset League games on Wednesday. Scores from those games weren't available at press time.
Sunset games scheduled for 3:15 p.m. Friday have Marina at Edison, Los Alamitos at Fountain Valley, and Huntington playing host to Newport Harbor. On Tuesday at 3:15 p.m., Marina plays at Newport Harbor, Fountain Valley plays host to Edison and Huntington plays host to Los Alamitos.
Ocean View battled back from an early, three-run deficit at Santa Ana to topple the Saints, 9-8, in a Golden West League opener. Santa Ana took a 3-0 lead after one inning, but Ocean View scored the next five runs to open up a 5-3 advantage in the fifth. The Saints regained the lead at 8-7 in the sixth, but the Seahawks responded with a two-run rally in their final at-bat, to take the lead for good.
Senior Luke Fell (1-1) entered the game in the bottom of the seventh and struck out three of the four batters he faced, to get the win. Fell also went two for four with a double on offense. Senior Aaron Beutel had a triple and double, senior Jared Goodman had two hits and drove in three runs, and senior Dallas Broge struck out four in 5 1/3 innings pitched.
"I am really proud of our seniors," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said. "They took it upon themselves to make sure we won this game. We did not play well at all, but with 16 hits you can absorb that a bit. Those guys really made a difference in holding the rest of the team accountable for what was going on out there. It was a great day to see that happen, we really needed it."
Borowski said senior Brian Jensen, a transfer from Pacifica, will not be eligible to compete for the Seahawks until April 1.
Ocean View played host to Segerstrom in a league contest on Wednesday. The score from that game wasn't available at press time. The Seahawks are home for a 3:15 p.m. league game on Friday against rival Westminster. On Tuesday, they play at 3:15 p.m. at Orange.
CIF Weekly Rankings (week of March 18)
Baseball: Fountain Valley (No. 5, Division 1).