There will be a new baseball champion in CIF Southern Section Division 1. Edison High saw to that Tuesday.
Playing their third playoff game in seven days, the Chargers took down visiting Studio City Harvard-Westlake, the reigning Division 1 champion, 3-1, to advance to the division quarterfinals Friday. A team that had start its postseason journey in the wild-card round, is now in the Elite Eight.
Unseeded Edison moves on to play host to the division's top seed, JSerra, which on Tuesday rallied in extra innings to pull out a 6-5 victory over visiting Valencia/Valencia.
Two other local teams, Sunset League co-champions Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach, had their respective seasons come to an end in second-round losses Tuesday.
Fountain Valley was eliminated for the second straight year by Santa Margarita, which edged the third-seeded and visiting Barons, 8-7. Fifth-ranked Huntington was shut down at home, 1-0, by Foothill.
Edison (21-9) overcame a 1-0 first-inning deficit against Harvard-Westlake. The Chargers, the third-place team from the Sunset League, scored two runs in the bottom of the third and one in the sixth to gain some breathing room on the seventh-ranked Wolverines.
Harvard-Westlake, which last year defeated Marina in the Division 1 title game at Dodger Stadium, loaded the bases with one out in the top of the seventh. Edison junior relief pitcher Michael Mahony struck out the first batter he faced, then ended the scoring threat, and game, by getting Jack Flaherty, last year's CIF Southern Section Division 1 Player of the Year, Cal-Hi Sports State Player of the Year, and MaxPreps National Player of the Year, to ground out to the mound for the save.
Edison starter Noah Kronfly (9-1) put the Chargers in position to win. The junior gave up seven hits but limited the Mission League runner-up Wolverines to a single run before giving way to Mahony.
"They are really an aggressive team and to limit them to one run, is a credit to Noah Kronfly," Edison Coach Cameron Chinn said. "Noah Kronfly is just the ultimate competitor. He stayed composed and stayed within himself."
"We thought Michael Mahony and his breaking ball would be a good fit to close the game."
Edison went into the lead for good in the bottom of the third. Junior Nick Mailman delivered a one-out, RBI single to right field to tie the score. Senior Brian Schales followed with a line-out to left field but senior Philip Knapp, who had singled earlier, tagged and scored from third.
In the Edison half of the sixth, Adam Moses dropped a lead-off double into left field and later scored on an infield throwing error by the Wolverines.
"There are no secrets," Chinn said of his team's run to the quarterfinals. "We've been playing the way we've been playing since the fall. We scrap away on offense and different players have stepped up."
Edison's postseason success started May 21 with a 4-3 wild-card win over Tesoro and continued with a 4-1 win Friday at Moore League champion Long Beach Millikan, before Tuesday's triumph.
Chinn said that there's a "good chance" that sophomore right-hander Kaz Akamatsu will start Friday against JSerra.
Chinn said that Akamatsu and the Chargers gave an "outstanding, complete performance," in Friday's win at Millikan.
The winner of the JSerra-Edison quarterfinal advances to play in one of two Division 1 semifinal games scheduled for 4 and 7 p.m. Tuesday at Blair Field in Long Beach. The winner will face the winner of another Friday quarterfinal round game between Foothill (Century League No. 1) and Agoura (Marmonte League No. 1).
The Division 1 final is at 8 p.m. June 6 at Dodger Stadium.
•Huntington's season started and ended against Foothill. The Oilers defeated the Knights, 7-2, at the Newport Elks Tournament, and were shut out (1-0) for only the second time this year Tuesday.