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Huntington Beach battles back, beats Aliso Niguel
Huntington Beach’s baseball team might be the closest thing to high school’s version of “Murderers’ Row.”
With eight Division 1 commits, the ninth-ranked Oilers are a dangerous team up and down their lineup. They proved it Wednesday in the second round of the Boras Classic.
Tyler Murray hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning, and the ninth-ranked Oilers notched their second comeback victory of the tournament in a 7-5 win over No. 5 Aliso Niguel at JSerra High.
Daniel Amaral had three hits atop the lineup. Cooper Moore and Murray each had two as the Oilers banged out 12 hits.
“It’s a tough lineup to get through when we’re hitting well,” Oilers coach Benji Medure said. “One through nine did well today. Hopefully we can keep that going.”
The Oilers have won seven of their last eight games.
Huntington Beach (9-6) had lost two games to Aliso Niguel (12-6) to start the season. Medure said his team had “talked about some revenge,” and his players put that plan in motion.
The Oilers sent seven to the plate in a three-run first inning, and Wolverines starter Zak Nocon needed 55 pitches to get through the first two innings.
Murray knew the Oilers offense had to perform against the Wolverines.
But after Huntington Beach jumped out to 4-0 lead, Aliso Niguel’s bottom third of the order was a source of trouble for Logan Pouelsen (2-1). Demetri Colacchio and Connor Kokx reached base in their first two plate appearances.
In the fourth, the Wolverines used a two-out rally to spark a big inning. Domenic Colacchio and Blake Sabol had RBI singles, and Eric Wagaman’s two-run double gave Aliso Niguel a 5-4 edge.
Huntington Beach didn’t trail for long. Moore hit a triple to start the fifth. He was thrown out trying to go home on an overthrow, but it was the first of several ringing shots that would spell doom for Nocon and the Wolverines.
Pouelsen followed with a double before Murray’s home run put the Oilers up for good.
“We knew we had to score more against (Aliso Niguel) because they’re a good team,” Murray said. “They have solid pitching. We stuck to our schoolyard baseball, and we pulled it out in the end.”
Moore says that the “schoolyard” approach has benefited the team.
“It’s just like going out with your (friends), having a scrimmage, playing on the street,” he said. “We’re just having fun.”
The Oilers will play the winner of Mater Dei and Long Beach Wilson on Thursday. First pitch is 6 p.m. at Mater Dei High.