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Marina pushes HB aside, 5-3

In front of a big crowd, Vikings use three HRs to move into first place in the Sunset League.

March 30, 2012|By Mike Sciacca

HUNTINGTON BEACH — There was plenty riding on yet another important Sunset League baseball game when rivals Marina and Huntington Beach hooked up on Friday. At stake was sole possession of first place, a spot both teams eyed keenly heading into the showdown. The game itself, played before a big, boisterous crowd at Huntington, didn't disappoint.

Marina took over the league's top spot for the second time in a week by scoring a 5-3 victory over the Oilers, the fourth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1. The outcome put the Vikings at 4-1 in league while the Oilers fell to 3-2.

With the early league lead on the line a week ago, Marina went to Fountain Valley and pulled out a 2-0 win over the Barons on March 23. The Vikings suffered a 5-4 home loss on Wednesday to Edison which put a big price tag on Friday's game.

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"It's huge," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said of the win. "This is our arch-rival. Huntington is a great team, highly-ranked and is solid, from top to bottom. That's the best Huntington Beach team that I've seen in a long time. It was a great atmosphere out here today and both teams gave it their all."

Marina (7-3 overall) used the long ball early on to establish control. The Vikings also dodged several scoring threats by the Oilers who stranded seven on base, including a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the third inning and runners at second and third base in the sixth, over the final five innings.

"This is a tough one. We beat ourselves," Huntington Coach Benji Medure said. "Credit Marina for hitting the long ball, but we missed our pitch locations, missed signs and couldn't turn a double play that cost us a run. Those things add up. They certainly did today.

"This game had everything, awesome energy, intensity ... typical of a rivalry game. At least we get them two more times late in the season."

Senior Keegan Reeser gave Marina the lead for good in the top of the second with a solo home run to left field that put the Vikings in front, 2-1. It would be the first of three solo homers for the Vikings on the day.

In the top of the third, junior Jake Bauers took the first pitch offered and sent it over the center-field fence, a shot of about 380 feet that took the lead to 3-1. An out later, sophomore Landon Marshall drilled a shot over the fence in left field to make it 4-1.

Through three innings, the Vikings had scored four runs off Huntington starter Christian Abe (4-1) who brought a 15-scoreless innings streak into the game.

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