Huntington Beach gets 1st baseball title
Oilers beat Newhall Hart, 3-1, to take the Southern Section Division 1 final.
Ranked No. 1 in Southern California by The Times on Feb. 23 when the prep baseball season began, Huntington Beach lost five of its first seven games and hardly resembled a team that was supposed to be the best.
More than three months later, the Oilers fought their way back to the top behind a pitching staff that has thrown 10 shutouts since the end of March.
On Saturday night in the Southern Section Division 1 championship game, Noah Davis struck out 10 and allowed four hits to lead the Oilers past Newhall Hart, 3-1, at San Manuel Stadium in San Bernardino.
For a town known as Surf City USA, Huntington Beach gets to celebrate the first baseball title under Coach Benji Medure.
“It’s unbelievably special,” Medure said. “It’s not an easy thing to do. In 107 years, we haven’t done it. We made history.”
Huntington Beach (26-8) had three different pitching starters win Division 1 playoff games — Davis, Hagen Danner and Mitchell Kovary. And therewas closer Logan Pouelsen available to finish games.
“It’s insane the pitchers we have on this team,” Davis said. “Every single guy on our staff could be the ace on any other team.”
Momentum in the title game switched in favor of Davis and the Oilers in the second inning. The Indians (2010-1) had fallen behind, 2-0, but Robert Reeves led off the second with a triple. Davis, a UC Santa Barbara signee, proceeded to strike out the next three batters and began a streak of retiring 13 batters in arow.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tyler Murray contributed an RBI single after Logan Pouelsen had his second double of the game for a 3-1lead.
Jack Ralston did his best to keep Hart close, striking out five, walking none and allowing six hits.
“Our guy did a great job keeping us in the game,” Hart Coach Jim Ozella said.
Draft on Monday
The first day of baseball’s amateur draft is Monday, and several players from Southern California could be selected.
Pitcher Kolby Allard of San Clemente, catcher Chris Betts of Long Beach Wilson and pitcher Peter Lambert of San Dimas top the prep players in contention to be selected.
The draft continues Tuesday and Wednesday.