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SAM GANGWER, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Huntington Beach junior Nick Pratto, making his first start of the season, delivers a pitch against Los Alamitos in a Sunset League game at Los Alamitos High on Wednesday. Huntington Beach won, 4-2.

Pratto wins debut with Huntington Beach

CONTRIBUTING WRITER

LOS ALAMITOS – Junior pitcher Nick Pratto made his debut Wednesday for No. 3 Huntington Beach and earned a complete-game victory as the Oilers beat Los Alamitos, 4-2, in a Sunset League game at Los Alamitos High.

“It’s pretty nice, right?” Huntington Beach coach Benji Medure said. “He’s been pacing and grumpy and just chomping at the bit to get in. He knows he can help us.”

Pratto, a USC commit, was forced to sit out the first month of the season because he transferred from Mater Dei without a change of residence. He threw seven innings and allowed two runs on four hits with three strikeouts.

The Oilers (12-5, 2-1) gave the left-hander a cushion to work with in first inning when Hagen Danner hit a two-run home run off the top of the center field fence.

Griffins center fielder Jack Keller was injured chasing Danner’s hit into the fence. Keller severely injured his ankle and was carted off the field.

“It was definitely a blow,” Los Alamitos coach Matt Nuez said. “One of their catalysts, one of the leaders of this squad, it was tough for them. It definitely let a little wind out.”

Pratto got the rust knocked off early as two liners were hit at him, one he caught and one brushed his shoulder, and he was hit by a pitch at the plate in the third.

“Bullpens are so much different than this,” said Pratto, who was MVP and led the U.S. Under-18 team to the gold medal in the WBSC World Cup last summer. “It’s the game atmosphere. Missed some spots and paid for it a little bit.”

Chad Minato scored on a sacrifice fly in the third, and Dominic Abadessa hit a RBI triple in the fourth as the Oilers built a 4-1 lead.

Keller’s replacement in center field, Michael Townsend, hit a solo home run in the fifth and came up as the potential tying run in the seventh, but he hit a grounder back to Pratto for the final out.


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