Danner, Huntington Beach are too much for Wilson
LONG BEACH - Prior to Huntington Beach’s game against Long Beach Wilson in the second round of the CIF-SS Division 1 baseball playoffs, Oilers coach Benji Medure challenged Hagen Danner to live up to his reputation as the team’s ace and pitch deep into Tuesday’s contest.
The talented sophomore answered the call, and the results were outstanding.
Danner threw a shutout for the Oilers in a 3-0 win at Blair Field that earned them a spot in the quarterfinals.
“I asked him yesterday, ‘Are you going to be able to finish this thing?’ And he said, ‘Coach, you’re not taking me out,’” Medure said. “He wanted to show to me that he was going to get better as the game went on. It was his game.”
Danner allowed six hits, had five strikeouts and retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced. He induced weak contact throughout the game, with nine groundball outs and three infield fly balls.
“When he’s going well, he’s down in the zone,” Medure said. “He gets a lot of chopping ground balls, especially to our third baseman and our shortstop. We played good defense today, and that’s what helped us win.”
The Oilers (23-8) opened up the scoring in the third inning with RBI singles by Logan Pouelsen and Cooper Moore. Landon Silver scored on a wild pitch in the fourth.
All six of Danner’s hits allowed were singles. After loading the bases in the third inning, the Bruins (20-11) never advanced a runner past first base.
“He had good command of his curveball today, and that helped him a bunch,” Medure said. “It got him out of some sticky situations. In big games, we count on him to pitch exactly how he did, and that’s why he’s our guy.”
Huntington Beach will face El Dorado in the quarterfinals on Friday. The site of the game will be determined Wednesday.