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Canyon baseball ends season on a high

Cowboys defeat playoff-bound West Ranch

Posted: May 15, 2014 9:43 p.m.
Updated: May 15, 2014 9:43 p.m.

To say Canyon baseball’s season has been frustrating is an understatement.

So the Cowboys did something about it Friday and now have something to build off for 2015.

One season removed from a Foothill League title and having not beaten a Foothill team other than last-place Golden Valley all year, the Cowboys defeated West Ranch 2-1 on Thursday at West Ranch High in the teams’ regular season finale.

“It was very disappointing not playing to our potential. We’ll look back at what ifs. But we did a good job today,” said Canyon junior pitcher Daniel Buonauro.

Buonauro particularly did a good job.

The left-hander pitched a complete game, allowing four hits, two walks and one earned run, while striking out three.

He relied on a majority of off-speed pitches with the plan on busting Wildcats hitters in and then working away.

West Ranch could only muster a small-ball run in the fourth inning.

Jake Spurlin led off the inning with a bunt single and came around to score on a Sean O’Shea sacrifice fly.

Canyon scored both its runs in the top of the third inning off Wildcats starter Jake Bird.

Vincent Fitzgerald scored the first run on a West Ranch error, then Jason Rowe knocked in a run with a single.

Canyon scored just 14 runs against Foothill teams not named Golden Valley this season. On top of that, the defense was iffy. Both led to the Cowboys’ downfall this year.

“I don’t think we played with the most confidence (this season),” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “Pitching, as a staff we did great. We were in position to win many more games than we did. It’s tough when you don’t have the other two parts of the game.”

Canyon loses 15 seniors and nearly that entire offense, but it should have a pitching staff (Buonauro, Blake Leidholdt and Jacob Lopez) that will keep it competitive.

West Ranch, despite the loss, still has some life in the season.

Thanks to Hart beating Saugus on Thursday, the Wildcats finish as the No. 3 team in the Foothill League because of a series victory over the Centurions.

However, there could be a scenario where being the third-place team could force the Wildcats to play a wild-card game in an always deep CIF-Southern Section Division I.

Thursday’s loss couldn’t have helped.

“Win or lose, you like to play a better game to get some momentum going into the playoffs,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill.

The brackets come out on Monday.


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