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Sailors suffer setback

High School Baseball

Huntington Beach defeats Newport Harbor, 8-4, in Sunset League opener.

March 21, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza
  • Newport Harbor High shortstop Logan Mahaffy stops a hard-hit ground ball for an out during a Sunset League opener against Huntington Beach on Friday.
Newport Harbor High shortstop Logan Mahaffy stops a hard-hit… (Don Leach, Daily…)

HUNTINGTON BEACH — Evan Chalmers coached Newport Harbor High in a Sunset League baseball game for the first time in five seasons on Friday. He was happy to be back, not so much with his team's start to league.

Early on, the Sailors missed chances to jump on host Huntington Beach. Chalmers saw a runner on second base get doubled up after he didn't try to get back to the bag on a line drive to third base. In the next inning, that same player struck out with the bases loaded.

The Oilers took the lead in the bottom of the second inning and they went on to open league with a convincing 8-4 win. They are talented, with a half dozen players committed to NCAA Division I programs.

"We can't really worry about who's who, and Little League World Series guy here and there, you know, big name guy … going to this school. It doesn't matter," Chalmers said of the Oilers, who have a couple of players who helped Huntington Beach Ocean View win the Little League World Series three years ago in Williamsport, Pa. "We just have to do what we do well and we didn't do those things."

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The timely hits never came for Newport Harbor (6-2, 0-1 in league) against Huntington Beach (6-2, 1-0), ranked No 6 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll.

Chalmers had been away from the league since 2009, when his first stint with the Sailors ended with him being let go. He has returned this season, and it doesn't take much to know that the Oilers are the league favorites. The Sailors have been far from that in the past three seasons, finishing in last place each time.

One of the three league wins the Sailors earned in 15 games last season came against Huntington Beach. Noah Davis made sure the Oilers came out on top in the first meeting between the two programs this season.

Davis went five innings and improved to 3-0. He allowed two unearned runs, five hits, struck out three, walked one and hit two.

Davis outdueled one of the Sailors' aces, Connor Seabold. Both are bound for Big West Conference programs, Davis, a junior, to UC Santa Barbara and Seabold, a senior, to Cal State Fullerton.

Seabold (2-1) struggled with his command during his five-inning stint, walking four. The right-hander went into the afternoon with 14 strikeouts in 11 scoreless innings.

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