Being the best in regular season means little come baseball playoff time – Los Angeles Times

Huntington Beach High School deserves to put up a banner that says, “Best baseball team in Southern California, best baseball team in California and best baseball team in America for the regular season.”

The Oilers (26-4) have shown over four months that they have the best one-two pitching combination in Hagen Danner and Nick Pratto; the best clutch hitters in Danner, Pratto and Ben McConnell; the best pitching depth; the best closer in Josh Hahn; the best defense.

And yet, when the Southern Section Division 1 playoffs begin on Thursday, Huntington Beach’s season could easily come to a stunning end without winning a championship. That’s how tough it’s going to be to finish the Division 1 playoffs with a dogpile at Dodger Stadium on June 2. It’s the most challenging single-elimination tournament in America. The Southern Section placed its best teams, regardless of enrollment or geography, in Division 1 before the season. No. 32 will be capable of beating No. 1 when the bracket is released on Monday.

“I think the less I talk about it, the more of the advantage we’ll have,” Coach Benji Medure said of the challenge ahead. “It’s pretty obvious it’s one [loss] and done. We’re not going to harp on it. Since the Boras tournament, we’ve talked we don’t want to lose another game.”

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