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Marina falls short

Vikings come oh so close to CIF championship, but lose to Harvard-Westlake, 1-0, at Dodger Stadium.

June 06, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
(KEVIN CHANG / HB…)

This time, there were no late-inning heroics for the Marina baseball team.

Three days after coming up with a game-changing rally that pushed them past Los Angeles Loyola, the Vikings' attempt to win the programs' first CIF Southern Section title in 10 years and third, overall, was denied by North Hollywood Harvard-Westlake. The Wolverines survived a 1-0 contest in the Division 1 championship game at Dodger Stadium on Friday.

Marina had its chances to upend the No. 3-seeded Wolverines but could not convert scoring opportunities in the third and seventh innings, and had a nine-game win streak snapped.

The Vikings played Harvard-Westlake, a team that had rolled in postseason play, on even terms.

"We knew the game would be a close one," Marina Coach Bob Marshall said. "Our players battled until the end. I thought we really had this game. We hung right there with them the entire game. We had our opportunities but we could not get it done.

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"We had bases loaded with one out and our guys could not just push that run across. That was big. We could have had a couple of hits to break this game wide open but, it did not happen."

Marina (22-9) was down a run heading into the seventh and had been limited to just three hits by Harvard-Westlake junior Jack Flaherty, a right-handed pitcher who has committed to North Carolina. But Tyler Mildenberg breathed some life into the Vikings' offense when he sent a single through the middle of the infield to start the inning. Mildenberg went to second base on Landon Marshall's sacrifice bunt, putting the tying run in scoring position.

Grant Mayeaux then connected on an 0-1 pitch for a single into left field. Mildenberg rounded third and headed for home, but never made it. Harvard-Westlake left fielder Ezra Steinberg fielded Mayeaux's hit and fired a strike to home where catcher Arden Pabst blocked the plate and laid the tag on Mildenberg for the second out of the inning.

"I told the kids after the game, that one was one me," said Bob Marshall who was in the third base coach's box and gave Mildenberg the green light for home. "Tyler's one of our fastest kids and I was going to send him. That kid [Steinberg] made a clutch throw. It was money.

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