Locals eye deep run

Area baseball and softball teams open CIF playoffs, with Seahawks baseball team hosting perennial power.

May 20, 2010|By Mike Sciacca

Two schools that have a history of success on the baseball diamond have the unenviable task of meeting early in the postseason.

As openers go, the CIF Southern Section-Toyota Baseball Championships Division III playoff draw that pits Ocean View against La Quinta of Westminster might be one of the division's best first-round games.

The Seahawks and Aztecs open postseason play at 3:15 p.m. today at Ocean View.

Ninth-ranked Ocean View comes into today's clash as champion of the Golden West League, having marched to the title with a 13-2 record. Overall, the Seahawks are 17-9.


On paper, La Quinta (16-11 overall) is the No. 3 team out of the Garden Grove League but don't be fooled: the Aztecs just missed first-place and a share of the title by one game.

The first-round game is the first meeting between the teams this season.

"La Quinta is and has been a great program over the last two decades," Ocean View Coach Shane Borowski said. "Seventeen league titles in a row is something remarkable, and they almost got another one this year. We've got to show up ready to play and to take it to them."

One key player for Ocean View is junior Blake Walker, who is a serious contender Golden West League Most Valuable Player honors. Walker carries a .429 batting average with six doubles and two home runs and also went 6-0 as a pitcher in league play. Sophomore utility player Colton Johnson has been steady on defense (4-2 record and two saves as a pitcher) and a catalyst on offense (.451 league batting average, 11 for 11 in stolen bases) and senior starters Kevin Nance, Aaron Delgado, Nick Schulenburg and Matt Larsen has proven that, as Borowski said, "their leadership and experience can pave the way for a successful playoff run."

Ocean View won its first CIF title in baseball in 1998 and its second in 2005. Last year, the Seahawks reached the second-round of the playoffs, where they were eliminated by Downey.

"We've got a good group of kids that play well together and I would love to have them keep playing together," Borowski said. "To succeed in the playoffs, you need the kind of chemistry that we have, as well as some hot hitters, solid defense and a little bit of luck.

"Our big question mark is the pitching. Usually teams that go deep into the playoffs do so because they have at least one, usually two, guys that can shut down an offense, guys that get a lot of strikeouts. We don't have that. We pitch to contact and let our defense work for us.

Huntington Beach Independent Articles Huntington Beach Independent Articles