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Valencia baseball explodes offensively

Posted: April 9, 2014 10:59 p.m.
Updated: April 9, 2014 10:59 p.m.

Valencia players, from left, Hunter Holland, Devin Davis and Keston Hiura tap helmets after Valencia scored two runs during Wednesday's game at Golden Valley High School. Valencia won the game 21-3.

It may be spring break but don’t tell that to the Valencia High baseball team.

The Vikings traveled to Golden Valley and matched a season-high in runs scored with their 21-3 win over the Grizzlies on Wednesday in a Foothill League affair that moved dates because both teams were playing in out-of-town tournaments last Friday.

Valencia (8-7 overall, 3-2 Foothill League) scored 21 runs in its shutout win over Palmdale on March 6 as part of the Easton Tournament that kicked off the season.

“We played well offensively, got the good pitching we need and it’s a good result,” said Valencia interim head coach Mike Killinger. “It’s spring break so they get a couple of days off. They earned it. Obviously we’re not going to score 21 runs in every game, but if we can get somewhere near half of that every game, we’ll be very happy with that performance.”

The Vikings scored at least one run in every inning, with 12 different players in total crossing the plate.

Senior Keston Hiura was again an offensive spark plug for the Vikings, going 3-for-5, scoring four runs and falling a triple short of his second cycle of the season.

Hiura led the game off with a double and scored his first run when Devin Davis followed that up with a ground-rule double.

The Vikings tacked on two more runs in the second, third and fourth innings before Davis hit a three-run homer and Kaden Betsch had a sacrifice fly in the fifth to push the Vikings’ lead to 7-1.

After another run in the sixth, Valencia batted around in the seventh and exploded for nine more runs.

In all, the Vikings had 18 hits with six doubles and three home runs in the rout.

“This team is very offensive heavy,” said Hiura. “Our pitching did really well today too. They limited the hits and did their jobs. It was a good all-around win.”

Dylan Thomas got the win for the Vikings, going four innings, striking out four and allowing one run.

There weren’t many bright spots or the Grizzlies (4-13, 0-5) but head coach Gino Pomilia wants to make sure his team takes away a lesson from every setback.

“First of all, I have to take my hat off to Valencia. Their approach at the plate was excellent,” he said. “But I told (my players after the game), ‘If I had two choices: one is going 15-0 in league and the other is teaching you guys how to compete and believe in yourself, no matter what you do, I would take the latter.’

“You have to look adversity in the face, throw it on the ground and step on it.”

Down 21-1 in the seventh, the Grizzlies were able to put up another two runs and give themselves a high note to end on.

James Mendoza played well for the Grizzlies, going 4-for-4 with a run scored and Andrei Carballo had Golden Valley’s only run for most of the game with his solo shot in the second inning.

Both teams will take a couple days off and recover before heading into the final two-thirds of league play.

Valencia will try to keep their bats hot when it travels to West Ranch and the Grizzlies will continue to search for their first league win when they host Saugus.

Both games will be played on Wednesday.


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