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Valencia baseball make big comeback on West Ranch

Posted: April 16, 2014 10:16 p.m.
Updated: April 16, 2014 10:16 p.m.

The Valencia Vikings nearly came back from six runs against the West Ranch Wildcats in the Foothill League opener.

But against West Ranch on Wednesday, the Vikings came back from five to win.

Just as the Wildcats were on the verge of clinching the season series, Valencia rallied to score six runs in the top seventh inning to pull out a 7-6 victory at West Ranch High.

“We just had a phenomenal comeback,” said Valencia interim head coach Mike Killinger. “It’s something you don’t see too often in your life.”

Valencia (10-7 overall, 4-2 Foothill League) nearly made magic happen earlier this season against the Wildcats (11-6, 4-2), as it fell into an early 6-0 hole and almost pulled out a win, but West Ranch escaped with an 8-7 victory.

However, Valencia found a way to prevail in the rematch.

After leading off the top of the seventh with a single, Viking first baseman Devon Davis delivered a two-out double to cap a six-run seventh inning and drive in Hunter Holland for the game-winning run.

“We knew we had to start clutching up and getting some base hits,” Davis said. “We all gathered up and said, ‘We can do this. Five runs, that’s nothing. Let’s go.’”

The late rally spoiled an outstanding pitching performance from West Ranch ace Jake Bird.

In his first Foothill League start of the season, the senior right-hander struck out 10 and allowed one unearned run over his 5 2/3 innings of work.

Bird was in line for the win, as he left the game with a 4-1 lead.

“We’re disappointed with the outcome,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “We did play great baseball for six innings, and we’re real pleased at that. But unfortunately at the end there we wasted a pretty darn good pitching performance by Jake Bird.”

Valencia’s rally in the top of the seventh was started by back-to-back singles by Davis and Chad Bible.

Following the hits, West Ranch walked four consecutive Vikings.

The walks and a wild pitch allowed Valencia to cut the deficit to 6-5.

Keston Hiura tied the game with a sacrifice fly to score Scott Ogrin, which prompted Davis’ game-winning extra-base hit.

Davis finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored and one RBI, while teammate Jacob Silva went 2-for-4.

West Ranch was led offensively by Parker Bacon and Jake Spurlin, who went 3-for-4 with a double and three RBIs and 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI, respectively.

Wildcat shortstop Jagger Rusconi went 1-for-2 with three runs scored and a stolen base.

The rubber match will be played Friday at Valencia.


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