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Stepping back

Wildcats send Golden Valley’s momentum in reverse

Posted: April 4, 2009 1:42 a.m.
Updated: April 4, 2009 4:55 a.m.

West Ranch's Mitchell Thompson celebrates after hitting his third home run of the game against Golden Valley Friday afternoon at Golden Valley High School. The Wildcats defeated the Grizzlies 22-2 after five innings.

 
After a 3-2 loss to Foothill League-leading Saugus, Golden Valley looked like it was on the brink of reaching the level of some of the best teams in the area.

But then the West Ranch bats struck.

Led by three home runs by Mitchell Thompson — including a second-inning grand slam — the Wildcats notched a 22-2 road win over the Grizzlies to close the first third of the season in a first-place tie with Saugus.

“We have had a good three weeks in league play, and I felt like our whole team performed today,” Thompson said. “I was focused on hitting the ball the other way like our coach has been talking about, and I just got some pitches to hit and I was able to drive them.”

Thompson’s first bomb came in the first inning when he hit a two-run shot that keyed a six-run inning for West Ranch (8-2, 4-1).

The Wildcats also batted around in the second when Thompson launched a grand slam to cap a five-run frame.

“We have come a long way so far, but we know we have a long ways to go,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “I’m pleased that we have started out the way we have, and today was an example of how we can swing the bats.”

Golden Valley (4-7, 1-4) answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second when Jonathan Granado drilled a two-run homer.

“We told the guys not to get too pleased with how we played against Saugus,” said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin. “We have kids with heart so we know that today is not the kind game we will have to endure on a regular basis.”

The Wildcats batted around for the third consecutive inning in the third as Thompson nailed another jack.

The wind played a major role throughout the game as gusts wrought havoc on fly balls and pop-ups.

“The conditions definitely played a factor in the game,” Drootin said. “Still, we know that there will be wind when we play at home just because of where our field is located. We’ll keep adjusting to the elements as we get more acclimated, but we know that for us to win, we can’t make errors, and we have to limit walks.”

The game was called after five innings due to the Wildcats’ 20-run cushion.

“We are starting to come together as a team,” Burrill said. “I think we are focused on what we can accomplish.”

kdamore@the-signal.com

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