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Valencia scores four runs in the sixth inning to tie Archbishop Mitty in California Classic

Posted: July 19, 2013 9:45 p.m.
Updated: July 19, 2013 9:45 p.m.

Valencia High's Anthony Lepre hits a two-run double in the sixth inning against Archbishop Mitty on Friday at Valencia High School in the same tournament.

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In a tournament featuring some of the best high school baseball programs in California, the Valencia Vikings were determined not to open with a loss.

Avoiding defeat in its first game of the 2013 California Classic Elite Tournament, the Vikings battled back from an early deficit to tie the Archbishop Mitty Monarchs of San Jose 5-5 Friday at Valencia High School.

Valencia trailed 5-1 heading into the bottom of the sixth, before batting through the order and scoring four runs in the frame to even the game.

“We did a great job competing and never gave in,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “Our relief pitching did a fantastic job. But give their starter all the credit. He was just outstanding. He’s one of the best we’ve seen (this summer).”

Monarchs starting pitcher Kris Bubic pitched well and kept the Viking hitters off balance as he allowed just one hit with four strikeouts over four innings of work.

His only mistake came in the second inning as Valencia’s Anthony Lepre hit the first pitch over the center-field fence for a solo home run to make the score 4-1.

“I was just looking for a pitch I could handle,” Lepre said. “It was a fastball down the middle, and I wanted to keep my hands inside and give it a nice easy swing.”

Following the home run, Archbishop Mitty responded with a run in the top of the third to make the score 5-1.

From that point, Valencia turned Jacob Smith and Chris McCready out of the bullpen, who combined to pitch four consecutive scoreless innings.

Smith recorded three strikeouts in his three innings of work, before turning the ball over to McCready for the seventh.

“(Smith) has been up and down this summer, but we’re working on finding a consistent role for him,” Snyder said. “Once we get that, he’ll be a force for us from the left side.”

However, Valencia still needed the bats to come alive.

Highlighted by a two-RBI single by Lepre to drive in Jake Silva and Keston Hiura, the Vikings proceeded to tally four runs on three hits in the inning to tie the game at five.

“He’s our best hitter for a reason,” Snyder said. “(Lepre) has had some great approaches, and he doesn’t fear any situation.”

In its first year of existence, the CCET features some of California’s perennial baseball powerhouses including Harvard-Westlake (Studio City) and De La Salle (Concord).

Archbishop Mitty earned a Division I CIF Central Coast quarterfinals appearance in 2013.

Valencia will be in action again today against Elk Grove, the 2013 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division I champion, at 10 a.m. and Bellarmine at 2 p.m.

“This tournament is allowing us to play and compete against some great programs,” Snyder said. “Teams like these put us in situations where we have to be perfect, which is exactly what we’ll see come playoff time.”

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