In forging a three-game win streak over the past 10 days, a run that had taken Ocean View to a share of first place in the Golden West League baseball standings, the Seahawks played with a focused purpose and didn't let little nuances bother them.
Friday at Gibbs Field, the Seahawks got away from that mentality against visiting Orange.
Ocean View fell behind early against the Panthers, rallied but came up a run shy, in a 4-3 loss. The Seahawks had runners in scoring position throughout, but couldn't sustain any type of big rally.
They scored single runs in the third, fourth and seventh innings, attempting to claw back from a 4-0 deficit.
The setback dropped Ocean View to 3-2 in league.
Orange, which won its third-straight league game, improved to 3-2.
"What we did during our three-game win streak, was just play our game," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said. "We didn't let our mistakes, the little things, bother us. Today, we let things, like the umpire, or errors, become a distraction. We didn't do that in our past three games.
"We are a very, very young team, and we showed our age today. We had been playing above our age during our recent win streak."
Ocean View never led Friday. Orange scored in its opening at-bat, and the Panthers put runners on base in all seven innings. A 1-0 first-inning lead became 2-0 in the top of the second when Nick Kunkel drew a two-out walk and scored on an infield error. The Panthers had loaded the bases but Ocean View starting pitcher, sophomore Braydon Salzman, induced a groundout to third base to end the inning.
The Panthers scored their third run in the third. Doug Walker hit a one-out single to left field and with two out, Chris Ayala singled to left. Kunkel then dropped a single down the left field line, bringing in Walker from second to make it 3-0. Ayala went on to score on a wild pitch for the Panthers' final run.
After leaving bases loaded in the bottom of the second, Ocean View scored its initial run in the third. Mike Giacone drew a one-out walk, went to second base after an errant throw on a pick-off attempt at first, and took third on a wild pitch. Salzman then delivered a RBI single straight up the middle. In the Ocean View half of the fourth, relief pitcher Steven Cotton singled to left. With two out, Jett Volo drove an RBI double to the fence in left field to make it 4-2. Volo was stranded at third, as Orange starter Jared Sturgeon, struck out Giacone to end the inning.
The double was the first of a pair of sharp, two-baggers by Volo, a left-handed hitter who started the bottom of the seventh by lining a double to the right-field corner. He moved to third on a groundout by Giacone, and scored when Salzman grounded out up the middle to pull the Seahawks within 4-3. Orange reliever Matt Gibson, who replaced Sturgeon at the outset of the bottom of the fifth, also gave up an infield single to Brian Scholsser which put the tying run on base with two out.
Freshman Joseph Romero, who had doubled in the fifth, flew out to center field for the final out of the game.
"We made some young mistakes today which cost us, but I'm proud of the way our guys battled back," Borowski said. "We didn't play our best, and yet it was a one-run game.
"I thought Jett Volo had a good game. He was benched the game before (a 7-3 Ocean View win Wednesday at rival Westminster) for what I call a, 'teachable moment,' but he came back from that today and hit the ball real well."
Ocean View has lost its two league games each by a single run, both at home. The Seahawks started league play March 27 with a 5-4 loss to Loara.
The Seahawks take on Loara twice next week starting with a 3:15 p.m. Tuesday game at Loara. They'll play host to the Saxons at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday.
Loara, which defeated Westminster, 8-5 Friday, leads the league at 4-1.
In Golden West League softball action Friday, Ocean View, ranked second in CIF Southern Section Division 4, was upended, 5-1, at home by 10th-ranked Loara.