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Valencia opens gifts

Vikings baseball team takes advantage of too many Grizzly mistakes

Posted: March 28, 2009 1:27 a.m.
Updated: March 28, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Quincy Quintero fields a ground ball in the sixth inning of Valencia's 11-4 win over Golden Valley at Valencia High.

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Valencia is one of the younger teams in the Foothill League, but the Vikings were able to capitalize on the youthful mistakes of Golden Valley Friday.

The Vikings pushed across seven unearned runs en route to an 11-4 home victory that pulled Valencia into a first-place tie in the Foothill League.

“Today we were just trying to play catch,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “Our hitters were patient too, and we were able to execute what we wanted to do at the plate.”

Golden Valley (4-5, 1-2) executed at the plate first, pushing across a pair of runs in the first on three singles, but Valencia (5-3, 2-1) answered with three in the bottom half of the frame.

“Our defense just wasn’t there today,” said Golden Valley catcher Rocky Sherwood. “We had our chances, but we just made some mistakes.”

Valencia broke the game open in the third when it batted around and put five runs on the board to take a 9-2 lead.

Control was an issue in the third for Grizzly starter Josh Smith. He hit a pair of batters and walked two to help the Vikings stretch their cushion.

“I thought Josh did a good job of keeping his composure through everything today,” said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin. “I’m happy with how he pitched today, and I think he showed a lot of what will make him a star some day very soon.”

The Vikings put their final two runs on the board in the fourth, when Alex Pitman and Scotland McKenzie walked and scored.

Golden Valley mounted a rally against Viking reliever Nick Rivas when the first four Grizzlies reached, but a double play helped bail out Rivas and only two runs crossed the plate.

“We know we still have a lot of work to do,” Snyder said. “Today we showed the killer attitude that we’ll need to compete in this league.”

Kyle Eaton worked the seventh to secure the victory for the Indians, striking out a pair to close the game.

“I think we were just playing not to lose today,” Drootin said. “We’ll get better, but we have to play better on defense.”

The win pulls Valencia into a tie for first place.

Dylan Jones and Dominick Solley led the way for the Vikings with a pair of RBIs each.

“Our pitching was very solid today,” Snyder said. “We limited our errors and played our game, which is how we won.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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