Baseball: Huntington Beach pulls off upset of the day
The team of the future beat the team no one thought was going to lose. With one blink, Mater Dei, the dominant baseball team in Southern California all season, was beaten by Huntington Beach, 2-1, in a Southern Section Division 1 playoff opener.
The Monarchs came in with a 24-2 record and the No. 1 seed. They had been tested all season, but Huntington Beach, with no seniors in its lineup and just 14-13 overall, wasn't intimidated and got a standout performance from sophomore Noah Davis, a converted infielder who has been pitching for just two years.
"They were pumped," Coach Benji Medure said of his players. "They knew what they were up against."
Huntington Beach got 12 hits and Mater Dei just two.
The Oilers will be a top five team in Southern California next season with all their returnees and some top incoming freshmen from the Ocean View Little League team that won a world championship in 2011. But there's still more to accomplish this season. They get to host Riverside Poly in a second-round game on Tuesday.
At Sunset League rival Marina, players started cheering when they heard about the Oilers' victory. There was Sunset League pride. Four league teams are still alive.
Mater Dei had a great season, but in a single-elimination tournament, all it takes is a top pitching performance, and that's what the Oilers got on Thursday.
-- Eric Sondheimer