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Davis pitches Huntington Beach to crown
SAN BERNARDINO – When Huntington Beach baseball coach Benji Medure filled out the preseason survey about his team, “good pitching” were two of the five words used to describe the team’s strengths.
“Good” was “great” Saturday and throughout the playoffs.
The Oilers gave up only four runs through five playoff games, including their 3-1 win over Hart of Newhall in the CIF-SS Division 1 championship game at San Manuel Stadium.
Noah Davis pitched a complete game for his third win of the playoffs. He struck out 10 with no walks.
“Noah Davis was exactly who he needed to be,” Medure said. “He took it on like it was his personal responsibility to win the CIF championship for us.”
It is Huntington Beach’s first CIF baseball championship. The Oilers’ previous CIF baseball championship game happened in 2009 when they lost to Crespi of Encino, 8-1.
Huntington Beach, which finished 26-8, scored two runs in the first inning. Hart got its run in the top of the sixth inning and the Oilers responded with a run in the bottom half of the inning.
Logan Pouelsen doubled twice, scored twice and drove in the Oilers’ first run. Tyler Murray drove in the other two runs.
Pouelsen’s first double drove in Daniel Amaral, who hit a single to open the first inning. Poulesen went to third on Cooper Moore’s single and scored on Murray’s ground out to shortstop to make it 2-0.
Hart (20-10-1) scored in the sixth inning on consecutive wild pitches.
Davis pitched his way out of trouble earlier. After giving up a single to start the first inning, Davis got the next three batters out and in the second allowed an inning-starting triple before striking out the next three batters.
That started a stretch of 13 consecutive Hart batters Davis retired.
Davis was the winning pitcher in the Oilers’ 7-2 win over Roosevelt of Eastvale in the first round. Hagen Danner pitched a shutout in their 3-0 win over Long Beach Wilson in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Davis and Pouelsen combined for a 4-1 win over El Dorado, and with Danner injured, Huntington Beach went to Mitchell Kovary, who shut out Norco, 4-0, in the semifinals.
That pitching, timely hitting and terrific defense – the Oilers played errorless ball Saturday – carried them to the title. Base running was another attribute.
“Good team speed,” by the way were the other three words Medure put in the “team strengths” category of the preseason survey.
“We had all of that through the playoffs,” Medure said. “We had those good at-bats right when we needed to get runs.”
Davis, who signed with UC Santa Barbara, had his fastball consistently in the 90-92 mph range, according to the board on the left-center field fence. And, yes, he noticed.
“I’ll admit I checked it out a couple of times,” Davis said. “But I tried not to focus on it.”
His attention on the game was good enough. Or, rather, great enough.
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