The year they set the bar

Oilers played in a CIF Southern Section championship for first time in the program’s 105-year history.

June 11, 2009|By Steve Virgen

The day before the biggest game in the program’s history, the Huntington Beach High baseball team took it all in, basking in its unprecedented glory.

At a school pep rally, the Oilers were honored for something that had not been done in 105 years.

They were told a banner would hang in the gym letting everyone know they were the first to reach a CIF Southern Section title game.

As their peers cheered, the Oilers knew what was next: the Division II final at Angels Stadium. They fell short, losing, 8-1, to Crespi of Encino Saturday in Anaheim.


They didn’t finish as the best team of the year in Division II, but they are at the top all-time at Huntington Beach.

The Oilers were also recognized at a school all-sports banquet June 4. With an unbelievable run to the CIF title game — they finished third in the Sea View League and began the playoffs as a wild card — they provided a unique sense of pride for those affiliated with the school.

“The ovation we got when our athletic director [Roy Miller] introduced us, it was unbelievable,” Huntington Beach Coach Benji Medure said. “It gave me chills. When you’re the first team in 105 years to make it to the CIF championship, it’s a pretty special feeling.”

The majority of the team’s highlights came during the postseason. After a 20-13 season, one win still stands out. It came May 29, the CIF Division II quarterfinals at the Oilers’ diamond, where the No. 1 ranked team in the state left stunned.

Yucaipa, the Citrus Belt League champion, had its dream season ended.

The T-Birds entered 27-3 with the most wins in the program’s history. But they had little to show for it after Huntington Beach won, 10-2.

“They were pretty stunned,” Medure said of the T-Birds. “They were trying to get it going, but we squashed their fire. It was pretty fun to silence a good team.”

Momentum swung to Huntington Beach early after star third baseman Matt Davidson hit into a double play in the first inning.

The Oilers began to believe. Davidson didn’t seem to be that much. At the time he was headed to USC. That might change after being selected No. 35 overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Major League Baseball Draft on Tuesday. But he was in a funk in Huntington Beach during that quarterfinal game. The T-Birds couldn’t get into gear.

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