Huntington Beach High needed a win on the final day of the regular season on May 9, to stay in the conversation for the CIF Southern Section baseball playoffs.
The Oilers stayed relevant by winning, 5-0, at Edison. The victory led to a playoff berth that they were awarded Monday and on Tuesday they remained alive in Division 1 postseason play.
Huntington went to Riverside to battle ML King in a Division 1 wild-card game between teams that were at-large entries to the playoffs. The Oilers came away with a 2-1 victory that sends them on to a first-round date Thursday at top-ranked Mater Dei.
Junior Jesse Kuet went three for four with a run scored and junior Andrew Arledge, Jake Brodt and Clay Morris combined to pitch a four-hitter.
Arledge took the win. He threw four scoreless innings, giving up three hits and two walks. Morris shut down the Wolves (12-13, Big VIII No. 3) in a scoreless seventh inning to earn the save.
"It was a gritty win on the road," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "MLK is a scrappy, tough team, so to go into the heat and grind out a win is impressive."
Huntington, the No. 4 team from the Sunset League, ran its record to 14-13.
Thursday's opponent, top-seed Mater Dei, is 24-2 and champion of the Trinity League.
In other Division 1 first-round games Thursday:
Alemany (19-10) vs. Fountain Valley (23-4)
(3:15 p.m., Fountain Valley High)
Sixth-ranked Fountain Valley begins the postseason against a Mission Hills Alemany team that earned an at-large berth to the playoffs.
The Warriors moved on to face Fountain Valley by defeating Canyon Springs, 11-10, in a wild-card game Tuesday.
"Our draw is a tough one," Fountain Valley Coach Deric Yanagisawa said. "I don't think anyone has an 'easy' draw. You're playing a quality opponent from the first game. If you take anyone lightly, you're probably going home.
"We're treating this first game as a CIF championship game. We'll take each game as they come and treat everyone like it's the final game."
Alemany of the Mission League has won three of its last four games, and six of their 10 losses have come on the road. The Warriors have a talented pitching staff that includes Rene Deleon, Kyle Merkel, Carter Yankie and Brandon Ponticelli.
Fountain Valley has been ranked among the top teams in Division 1 throughout the season. The Barons fashioned a 14-game win streak during the regular season but dropped their final two games.
"We had a tough few weeks," Yanagisawa said. "Our kids have been resilient all year. We have had great workouts the last few days and have worked on some of the things that will be important to us in the playoffs.
"The D-1 field is extremely deep. There are so many quality teams which should make for some great baseball. Whoever wins will have to be playing great baseball for five games in a row."