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Marina stays in title hunt

Baseball

Vikings come back to edge Huntington Beach, 5-4, to keep pace with Los Alamitos for first in the Sunset League.

May 09, 2012|By Mike Sciacca
  • Marina's Jack Westermeyer delivers a pitch against Edison during a game at Marina High School.
Marina's Jack Westermeyer delivers a pitch against… (SCOTT SMELTZER,…)

It's only fitting that the Sunset League baseball race— wild and wacky one all throughout — would come down to the final day of the regular season. All that's riding on the outcome of Thursday games is a league championship, playoff berths and league seedings for the upcoming postseason.

On Tuesday, Marina stayed in contention for the Sunset title by edging visiting Huntington Beach, 5-4, Fountain Valley took a 6-1 decision from Newport Harbor and Los Alamitos kept its one-game lead and first-place standing by downing Edison, 8-2.

Thursday's schedule has Edison at Los Alamitos, Fountain Valley at Newport Harbor, and Marina at Huntington, all at 3:15 p.m.

The title in the Golden West League also is up for grabs on the final day of the regular season Thursday, and Ocean View is in line for that top spot.

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Los Al has a one-game lead on Marina heading into the league finale. The Vikings (16-9, 10-4 in league) kept pace with the Griffins by coming from behind in the bottom of the seventh inning to pull out a 5-4 win over Huntington. Jake Bauers hit a walk-off, bases-loaded, two-run single to win the game. Freshman Steve Gingery, in relief of starter Austin Olivas (injury), got the win.

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Senior Lou Payetta, who went two for three, smashed a solo home run in the top of the seventh to put Huntington up, 4-3.

The Oilers (17-8, 7-7 for fourth in league)have lost eight games this season by a combined 12 runs.

"Steve did a tremendous job to earn the victory," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "Benji Medure is a great coach and prepares his team well. It was an intense game and a fight to the end. (Huntington Beach pitcher) Christian Abe kept us off-balance and the Huntington lineup, from top to bottom, is extremely dangerous. Lou Payetta owned us today. He hammered that home run, it was a blast into the trees.

"I've said this before, this Huntington Beach team is really strong. However, we don't give up. We have battled to the end in many of our wins and losses. Jake Bauers came through in the bottom of the seventh that erupted our bench and fans. I am very proud of Jake, he is a hard worker who seeks perfection. It was a great win for the Vikings."

Edison took a 2-0 first-inning lead at Los Alamitos, but the Griffins scored the game's final eight runs to earn an 8-2 win. Senior Timmy Lopes went two for three with a double and run scored for the Chargers (10-13, 8-6 in league).

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