Velazquez's Hot Stretch Continues to Advance Oilers to the Semis

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H E
Huntington Beach 1 0 4 1 0 2 0 8 10 4
Calvary Christian 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 5 1

Box | Plays | Cumulative: Huntington Beach | Calvary Christian

Ralphy Velazquez and Tony Martinez contributed half of Huntington Beach’s hits, and Nathan Aceves gave up just one run in five innings on the mound as the Oilers defeated Calvary Christian 8-3 in the quarterfinals of the 2023 National High School Invitational presented by the Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance.

Huntington Beach will face Bishop Gorman in the semifinals on Saturday. This will mark the second straight year the Oilers made it to the semifinals of the NHSI.

With the game tied at one apiece after the first inning, Huntington Beach took control of the game by scoring four runs in the third, a run in the fourth, and two runs in the sixth. Velazquez went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a triple, and Martinez went 2-for-2 with a double out of the nine-hole to combine for half of the Oiler hits. Aiden Espinoza (0-for-2) and Bradley Navarro (1-for-4) both contributed two RBIs on the day as six different batters brought a runner in.

JT Long led the Calvary Christian offense with a 2-for-3 day, but only Liam Peterson would add an RBI to his stat line with an RBI-single in the bottom of the first.

Aceves got the win, striking out four batters in his four innings of work. He gave up just one run and one walk on the day. The Oilers bullpen was strong, too, as Wyatt Thomas and Gavin Pacheco combined to strike out four batters and give up two unearned runs in the final three innings of the game. Peterson suffered the loss for the Warriors after giving up five runs in 2.2 innings.


  • The first three batters came to the plate for Huntington Beach in the top of the first inning, and the Oilers took a 1-0 lead. A walk, a hit-by-pitch, and a wild pitch put runners on second and third for an RBI-groundout to short by Ralphy Velazquez.
  • Calvary Christian tied the game in the bottom of the first thanks to an RBI-single by Liam Peterson, scoring Keeton Burroughs from second base after he legged out an infield single on the eighth pitch of his at-bat to get the rally started.
  • Bradley Navarro came up to the plate with the bases juiced in a tie game in the top of the third inning and delivered for Huntington Beach, lining a ball back up the middle for a two-RBI single to give the Oilers a 3-1 lead.
  • Tony Martinez picked up an RBI-single up the middle, and Dean Carpentier followed with an RBI-double down the left-field line to cap a four-run top of the third inning for the Oilers, giving Huntington Beach a 5-1 lead.
  • Ralphy Velazquez led off the top of the fourth with a stand-up triple to deep right centerfield and came around to score on a sacrifice fly from Aidan Espinoza to give Huntington Beach a 6-1 lead.
  • Calvary Christian loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning but Huntington Beach’s third baseman, Tony Martinez, put his body on the line, taking a grounder to the chest before throwing out Andrew Tess to end the threat.
  • Huntington Beach scratched two more runs across in the top of the sixth inning thanks to an Adrian Espinoza sacrifice fly and a Colby Turner single to left field, putting the Oilers up 8-1.
  • Calvary Christian plated runs in the bottom of the sixth and seventh innings on a wild pitch and an error, but its offense was not able to overcome the Oilers, with a final score of 8-3.


  • Huntington Beach’s Ralphy Velazquez led all hitters on the day with a 3-for-4 day, with a triple, an RBI and a run scored.
  • Tony Martinez went 2-for-2 in the nine-hole for the Oilers, picking up an RBI-double and contributing stellar defensive play on the hot corner.
  • Nathan Aceves picked up the win for Huntington Beach after striking out four batters in his four innings pitched. He spread out five hits and gave up just one run and one walk in his appearance.
  • Wyatt Thomas and Gavin Pacheco combined to strike out four batters in relief for Huntington Beach but surrendered two unearned runs due to Oiler errors.
  • Calvary Christian’s Liam Peterson suffered the loss, giving up five runs on five hits and five walks. He struck out five in his 2.2 innings of work.
  • Grayson Gibson gave up three runs on five hits in his relief appearance for the Warriors.


  • Huntington Beach advances to face Bishop Gorman (2-0) in the semifinals of the 2023 NHSI on Saturday. This is the second straight appearance in the semifinals for the Oilers after advancing last year.
  • Calvary Christian will face a to-be-determined opponent in consolation action on Saturday.

All games of the 2023 NHSI will be streamed on USABaseball.TV and @USABaseballTV on YouTube.


Stay tuned with all of the action at the 2023 National High School Invitational by following @USABEvents on Twitter and @USABaseball on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. Fans and media can use #NHSI23 in their posts.