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Edison turns out ’Cats’ lights

West Ranch can’t beat power pitching, power hitting

Posted: May 26, 2009 10:14 p.m.
Updated: May 27, 2009 4:57 a.m.

West Ranch catcher Max Blaha swings at a pitch Tuesday at West Ranch High in the CIF-Southern Section Division I baseball playoffs.

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You could feel the winds of change.

With a comeback brewing in the fifth inning, the West Ranch baseball team jangled the fencing and roared in their home dugout Tuesday.

Then Edison of Huntington Beach sophomore left-hander Henry Owens, rattled for a couple of batters, blew back and ended the Wildcats’ hopes at West Ranch High.

Owens, a 6-foot-5-inch 3/4 slingshooter, shot down West Ranch in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs as the Wildcats fell 13-1 to the state’s No. 4 team.

“The excitement in the dugout was real. It was good,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill of the fifth inning. “But we had no answer for that lefty.”

With the Wildcats trailing 7-0 going into the frame, Mitchell Thompson sent the first pitch of the inning over the short right-field wall for a home run.

Three batters later, the bases were loaded and memories of a May 15 comeback against Hart were stirred up.

In that game, West Ranch (21-8) trailed 9-0 going into the fifth and eventually won 11-9.

“There’s no doubt at all,” Burrill said of Tuesday’s situation resembling the May 15 game.

But Owens struck out UC Irvine-bound shortstop Cal Vogelsang with a fastball, then induced an inning-ending double play.

“I went out there and told him, ‘This is your opportunity to show us what you can do,’” said Chargers head coach Steve Lambright of his fifth-inning visit to the mound. “That shows his makeup.

“That was their chance to get back in the game and he stepped up big for us.”

Owens struck out seven and gave up five hits in a complete-game effort.

West Ranch had only one other inning with a runner in scoring position.

Casey Watkins doubled in the second, but was stranded there.

Edison (21-5) showed its power early, as Eric Snyder led off the game with a home run.

The Chargers added four more in the second off West Ranch starter Trevor Fredrickson.

Edison had 11 hits in the game, but benefited from four West Ranch errors and other mistakes.

Wildcats reliever Allen Sarkissian struck out Tanner Phillips to start the third inning, but the pitch in the dirt scooted to the backstop, allowing the Edison first baseman to reach safely.

He would score on a two-RBI single by Kyle Jones, giving Edison a 7-0 lead.

The Chargers put five more on the board in seventh, closing out the scoring with a three-run home run from Chris Czerniachowski.

He was 2-for-4 in the game with five RBIs.

West Ranch was the last team standing from the Foothill League.

cosborne@the-signal.com

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