Opening day of the Sunset League baseball race Friday figured to be full of high quality matchups, and Day 1 did not disappoint.
Defending league champion Fountain Valley and Edison went on the road for their openers, and both picked up impressive victories, the Chargers, at the expense of Marina. Huntington Beach, meanwhile, was home for its opener, and also impressed.
•Huntington scored an 8-4 victory over visiting Newport Harbor. Senior Dillon Millar went three for three and gave the Oilers the lead for good when he scored on senior Clint Jack's single in the bottom of the second inning. Sophomore Logan Pouelsen had two hits, an RBI double in the fourth followed by a three-run home run in the fifth.
The Oilers got nine hits and eight runs off Newport Harbor ace and Cal State Fullerton-bound Connor Seabold (2-1), who suffered his first loss.
Senior Noah Davis (UC Santa Barbara signee) threw five innings, struck out three and didn't allow an earned run to get the win, his third of the season.
Huntington, ranked sixth in CIF Southern Section Division 1, improved to 5-2 overall.
Newport Harbor slipped to 6-2.
""I wish that I could bottle up our hitting approach that we had against Seabold," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "He was tough. He throws hard with a good breaking ball.
"Our guys stayed patient and looked to drive the ball back up the middle. Sounds so simple but tough to do. I loved the way they believed in our approach."
•Edison found itself in an early, 2-0 hole at Marina Friday, came back to score the game's next six runs, and came away with a 6-4 victory over the Vikings. A two-run triple by senior Philip Knapp tied the score, and a fielder's choice RBI grounder by senior Brian Schales brought in the go-ahead run.
Junior Michael Mahony went two for three with a double and RBI and senior Adam Moses singled with an RBI for the Chargers.
"Mike Mahony hadn't been starting recently, but he has worked really hard and earned a start," Edison Coach Cameron Chinn said. "He took advantage of his situation, and he had a big day."
Junior right-hander Noah Kronfly threw five innings to get the win and improve to 2-0. Junior Nate Madden threw the sixth and sophomore Kaz Akamatsu the seventh and got his first save.
"This game showed our poise," Chinn said. "In the top of the first, we put our first two batters on base, but couldn't finish. [Marina] came back to score two runs, but we responded right away and took the lead. Our game plan was to put the ball in play.
"We had talked earlier about maintaining our poise, and I thought our guys did just that. I really thought Noah [Kronfly] exemplified that poise after falling behind."
Marina lead-off hitter, senior Austin Sojka, got the first of his two hits on a double to the fence in right-center field in the bottom of the first, and scored when junior KJ Spiratos ripped a two-out single. Spiratos went on to score when junior Chase Sebby drove his first pitch into center field past a diving Knapp for a double.
Marina drew to within 6-3 in the bottom of the sixth when Sojka delivered a two-out, RBI single to right field to score junior Garrett Malter. The Vikings loaded the bases, getting a double from Spiratos, in the bottom of the seventh. Malter hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score pinch runner Remington Balboa, to make it 6-4. Akamatsu then fielded a grounder back to the mound to start a game-ending double play.
Edison (9-3) won twice Saturday at its own Edison Tournament, defeating Compton Centennial, 3-2, and Laguna Hills, 14-6, to run its win streak to four games.