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’Cats’ big fourth is key

Wildcats erupt in the fourth inning, send Canyon to third league loss

Posted: March 28, 2009 1:19 a.m.
Updated: March 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Big innings have plagued Canyon all season, and a crooked number hurt the Cowboys again Friday afternoon.

West Ranch scored seven runs in the fourth inning, and the Cowboys couldn’t muster enough offense to respond in a 12-3 rout at Canyon High School.

Two errors by Canyon (1-9, 0-3) prolonged the big fourth frame, but West Ranch put together a series of good at-bats to get baserunners in position.

“I thought we had some good hits in there,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “They struggled with their defense early on. That set up some things for us offensively, and we capitalized on some other mistakes.”

The last five batters in the order registered five straight RBI singles for the Wildcats (6-2, 2-1), who built a 3-0 lead after three innings thanks to RBI singles from Cody Howard and Jared Ortiz that scored Cal Vogelsang and Casey Watkins. Jake Bernards also reached base on an error and wound up scoring on another error.

“There’s been some games where it’s been one big inning,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “It was definitely a situation where the other team’s doing things and we feel defenseless, and that’s it. We can’t get out of our own way.”

The Cowboys scored two runs in the fifth thanks to a two-run single off the bat of Tom Kratky that plated Evan Kim and Icezak Flemming. Alex Banta added the third run in the seventh off a sacrifice fly by Dan Young.

Trevor Fredrickson started the game for West Ranch and went the first three innings, allowing just one hit and three baserunners before giving way to Allen Sarkissian, who pitched until the seventh.

Casey Watkins came in to pitch the last inning for West Ranch, and Burrill said it was good to get him some work.

“It’s been a long time since our closer Casey came in and pitched,” he said. “It was nice for him to get in there and get another inning under his belt.”

The corkscrewing winds gave each team fits, both in the field and at the plate. Watkins felt it was important for his team to stick to the basics to score runs.

“We got a lot of base hits, moving runners over and playing the game the way it should be played,” said Watkins, who scored two runs and had an RBI. “We were trying to hit a bunch of low line-drives and move runners over.”

West Ranch leadoff hitter Nico Rusconi went 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs, while Sarkissian was 4-for-5 with an RBI.
Kratky was 2-for-4 to pace Canyon at the plate. Starting pitcher Robert Wright left the game with one out in the fifth and Garrett Hayes relieved.

“We need to show a little bit more,” Schulhofer said. “We know that. We could have made things happen but we know we need to do more.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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