Rainy conditions may have postponed Tuesday's game between Fountain Valley and Marina, but the delay had no bearing on the Sunset League championship.
It already had belonged to the Barons.
Fountain Valley sewed up the 2013 league title Friday when the Barons scored a 7-3 victory over rival Edison. It was the 10th Sunset title in the program's history, and first since 2002. When the final out was recorded Friday, it was only fitting that the Barons, both on the playing field and in the dugout, made a mad dash for the pitcher's mound to take part in a celebratory dog pile.
"This is awesome," Fountain Valley senior first baseman Jordan Lucio said after high-fives, hugs and handshakes. "This is such a great group of guys and it's a lot of fun to be on this team. Everyone did their part to help us win league."
"It is awesome," first-year coach Deric Yanagisawa said, reiterating Lucio's sentiments. "These kids deserve a lot of credit for what they have accomplished. All 18 kids contributed to this championship, and I'm really proud of them. Our senior group of kids has been phenomenal all year."
It was Edison which grabbed the early lead. Junior Brian Schales hit a solo home run in the top of the first inning to put the Chargers in front.
The lead didn't last long.
Fountain Valley, 22-3 overall and ranked No. 2 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, scored twice in its first at-bat to take the lead for good, then added single runs in the next three innings to extend its advantage to 5-1. Junior Daniel Patzlaff and sophomore JT Navarro both had an RBI single and junior Brock Lundquist made it a 5-1 game when he homered to lead off the bottom of the fourth.
Schales added an RBI groundout in the top of the fifth and the Chargers scored a run on a balk call in the sixth, to draw to within 5-3. Fountain Valley, however, responded with two runs in the bottom of the sixth. Patzlaff picked up another RBI when he doubled down the third base line, and he later scored on a wild pitch to take the lead to 7-3.
"This was a typical game for us all year," Edison Coach Steve Lambright said. "We weren't outplayed. We just didn't do the little things needed to win. We didn't make the plays we needed to. We didn't make the pitches when we needed to, and we weren't getting the key at-bats that we needed.
"Credit Fountain Valley. They did do all the little things, and they've done that all year. That's why they are Sunset League champions."
Fountain Valley, which completed a league sweep (3-0) of Edison, entered the week 12-1 in league. The Barons played host to Marina Wednesday but the score wasn't available at press time. The teams close out their league and regular seasons against each other Thursday at 3:15 p.m. at Marina.
Both the Barons and Vikings are headed to the CIF Southern Section playoffs. The playoff pairings will be announced Monday and wild-card and first-round games start next week.
"Any time you can come out on top in the Sunset League, against teams and coaches of this caliber, it's pretty special, " Yanagisawa said. "It feels good to be on top, but we still have plenty left to play for."
Oilers knock off Chargers
Huntington Beach kept its postseason playoff hopes alive Tuesday by posting a 7-2 Sunset League victory over visiting Edison.
Junior Jake Brodt drove in four runs, junior Jarrett Anton went three for three and scored three runs, and junior Sean O'Toole allowed just three hits and two earned runs in six innings to run his record to 3-0.
The win put the Oilers at 5-9 in league and 12-13 overall.
The Chargers also are 5-9 in league and now 11-14 overall.
"It was a must win and the kids handled the pressure," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "We aren't done, though. [Edison] will want to end our season on Thursday, so we have to match their energy and play a solid game. It is cliche, but we just need to go one pitch at a time and let it play out."
Edison plays host to Huntington at 3:15 p.m. Thursday in the league and regular-season finale for both teams.
Seahawks fall to Loara
Ocean View had a two-game Golden West League win streak snapped Tuesday by league-leading Loara, which scored a 13-1 win at Ocean View. The loss put the Seahawks at 6-8 in league and 8-16 overall. The teams meet again when they close out the regular season at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at Loara.
In its previous outing, Ocean View took a 7-5 win from host Orange on Friday. Junior James Wilson had two hits and sophomore Dustin Fisher (1-0) earned the win in a relief effort.