2011 High School Baseball Road Trip

Owens Blanks Rival Fountain Valley

4/9/2011 12:18:40 AM

Box score

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA-- Edison LHP Henry Owens made his final start against cross-town rival Fountain Valley this afternoon. A nice consolation prize for the Barons, who were the victims of yet another shutout by Owens. The ace lefty was sharp today, firing 11 strikeouts without issuing a free pass and scattering 3 hits. 

Through the first six innings the 7th ranked player in the nation was locked up in a pitchers duel with fellow lefty Zach Milan. But the wheels came off in the 7th for Fountain Valley, as a leadoff single by C Jake Lesinski was followed by a throwing error on a bunt attempt. After a fielders choice Edison's hitters finally managed to cash in on an opportunity. PH Tyler Jones singled to load the bases and then OF Sean Whiteman smashed a bases clearing triple to right center to put the Chargers up 3-0. It was more than enough run support for Owens but CF Eric Snyder added a 2-run Home Run the next at bat to make it 5-0. Another error and a passed ball allowed 2B Timmy Lopes to get into scoring position before 1B Johnathan Brooks drove him in for the final run of the game.

Owens' fastball was up to 92 MPH and he mixed it well with a 77 MPH slider, a 70 MPH curve and 78 MPH changeup. Owens threw 66.8 of his pitches for strikes, including a very impressive 71% of his offspeed pitches for strikes (including 77% of his sliders and 8 of 9 changeups). There was a very large turnout, including an army of MLB scouts with radar guns in tow. When asked if he notices the scouts or feels any pressure Owens said "I don't think about it when I'm out there, we have a saying; DBTH (don't believe the hype). I don't even look into the stands." Edison head coach Steve Lambright said of Owens' dominant performance "that's Henry, he did his job. It was his fourth shutout in league play thus far, he's the best pitcher I've ever had the privelege of coaching and he just goes about his business." 

The complete game shutout was enough to earn Owens Player of the Game honors, edging out teammate Sean Whiteman who went 2-for-3 with a triple, 3 RBIs and a Run out of the ninth spot in the order. An example of what makes Edison, currently the #1 ranked team in the nation, so dangerous. While most of the attention is focused on the Big Four of Owens, the Lopes borthers and Eric Snyder, the Chargers have quality hitters up and down the lineup and good pitching depth. Just as importantly, they are very experienced.

Coach Lambright said of his team's ability to deal with the pressure of being a heavy favorite "they've handled it a lot better this year than last, it's tough for 16 and 17 year old kids to handle it, and while it's an honor it doesn't mean anything unless you earn it on the field." That is a lesson the Chargers players learned the hard way losing in the first round of the CIF Southern Section playoffs to Dana Hills last year. Lambright added "games like this are going to go a long way in the playoffs because there's going to be a team that can match Henry on the mound and we're going to have to find a way to grind out a win."

While last year's playoffs showed that anything can happen, you'd be hard pressed to find anyone who doesn't like Edison's chances come tourney time. The Chargers are ranked #1 in the nation in the PG National Top 50, the PG Pacific Regional Top 25, the CIF Southern Section Divison I top 10 and the MaxPreps Xcellent 25. With three players expected to be selected high in June's MLB draft (Owens, Christian Lopes and Snyder), a very strong supporting cast and plenty of experience they look to have all the ingredients to capture a championship.

Bonus footage of the 31st ranked player in the class of 2011, Christian Lopes:

Tomorrow the PG High School Baseball Road Trip continues in Las Vegas as 10th ranked Bishop Gorman takes on 29th ranked Sierra Vista at noon (Central). The two teams boast a combined record of 30-2 and look to be the favorites for the Nevada state championship. 

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