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Marina edges Fountain Valley in baseball

Olivas' strong pitching helps Vikings to 2-0 win over host Barons.

March 24, 2012|By Mike Sciacca

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — The first full week of the Sunset League baseball season is in the books and if the first three games are to serve as an indication of what still is to come, all signs point to a rip-roaring race.

One thing is certain: through week No. 1, the Marina Vikings sit alone atop the Sunset standings.

Marina rode the pitching of Austin Olivas and turned a seventh-inning miscue and sacrifice groundout into a pair of runs that spelled the difference in a 2-0 win at Fountain Valley.

It was an important road win for the Vikings who slipped past a Barons team that with a victory would have moved into a tie for the top spot.

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"I'll tell you, it's going to be a dog fight," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said of the race, moments after his team improved to 3-0 in league and 6-2 overall. "To play against a legend like Ron LaRuffa, and get a win in their yard, is big. I'm dang proud of our guys. They don't give up and they fought to the end."

Fountain Valley, which slipped to 1-2 in league and 7-3, overall, has twice lost close games in the seventh inning in its first three league contests. Both setbacks came on the Barons' home turf, too: in their Sunset League opener on March 16, the Barons took a three-run lead into the top of the seventh on Huntington Beach but ended up losing, 5-4, on a grand slam.

"It was one of those games," LaRuffa, Fountain Valley's veteran coach, said of another close setback. "You have to tip your hat to Marina. They played well and that's as well-pitched a game that I've seen. They made no mistakes and we had one that ended up hurting us."

Olivas scattered three hits and held in check a Fountain Valley team that had scored seven runs two days earlier during a 7-2 win Wednesday at rival Edison.

"He was phenomenal," Marshall said of the left-handed junior who ran his record to 3-0. "He was attacking throughout the entire game and kept their hitters off balance. That's [Fountain Valley] a very good team and it's impressive that Austin held them to three hits."

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