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Baseball: Sailors fall short to Barons

Newport Harbor nearly takes down Sunset League's top team at Fountain Valley.

May 01, 2014|By Mike Sciacca
(Courtesy of David…)

FOUNTAIN VALLEY — Having picked up a key Sunset League victory Friday over Edison High, the Newport Harbor baseball team ventured to Fountain Valley on a blustery Wednesday, hoping to keep its momentum going against the league-leading Barons.

The Sailors played on even terms with the third-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1 on a wind-whipped afternoon, but Fountain Valley put up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the fifth inning and made it stand to come away with a 3-2 victory.

It kept the Barons alone in first place in the league standings. They'll take a 9-1 league record and 16-6 overall mark into Friday's league series finale at Newport.

The Sailors (10-11, 3-7) limited a potent Fountain Valley offense, one that had scored 15 runs in two wins last week against then-No. 1 ranked Huntington Beach, to single runs in the second, fourth and fifth innings.

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Newport Harbor had tied the score (2-2) in the top of the fifth and had the bases loaded with one out, but couldn't push across the go-ahead run. A potential, go-ahead run was forced out at home on a throw to the plate for the second out, and a strikeout ended the threat.

The Sailors, down 3-2, put the tying run at third base with two out in the sixth but again, couldn't deliver the equalizer.

"I told the kids we made some critical mistakes early that cost us some runs," Newport Coach Evan Chalmers said. "Those are the little things that were glaring today for us.

"But, this was a terrific effort against a team that had put up six and nine [runs] on Huntington Beach last week, and 10 [runs] on us the first time we played them. We played them to the end."

Miscues cost the Sailors early, and Fountain Valley took advantage by scoring single runs that gave them leads of 1-0 and 2-1. They took away from a fine pitching effort by junior Liam Ogburn who went three batters into the bottom of the fifth before being relieved by usual-starter-turned-closer Connor Seabold.

Newport, meanwhile, put runners on base in every inning except the fourth where Fountain Valley starter Hunter Margain retired the side, and in the seventh. Margain was pulled in the top of the fifth after the Sailors had put two runners on base with one out. The junior gave way to senior Daniel Patzlaff, starting shortstop and lead-off hitter for the Barons, who finished the fifth and got the win. Junior Justin Cobb threw the sixth and senior ace Scott Schultz closed the seventh.

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