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Valencia is efficient on mound, powerful at plate

n Vikings hit five home runs in support of starting pitcher Nick Rivas, who needs only 65 pitches to

Posted: April 16, 2009 1:14 a.m.
Updated: April 16, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Behind five home runs and a complete game from starter Nick Rivas, visiting Valencia High blew out Canyon High 12-1 on Wednesday.

Two of the Viking home runs came from sophomore shortstop Quincy Quintero, who went 4-for-4 with six RBIs out of the eighth spot in the batting order.

“He’s just starting to find his swing,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “He stayed on top of the ball and really swung well.”

All five home runs were opposite-field blasts to right field, aided by a strong wind consistently blowing out to right field.

“They took advantage of the wind and made adjustments. We didn’t,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “They hit those balls hard. I’m not saying they wouldn’t have left the park, but the wind helped.”

Rivas pitched quickly and efficiently, allowing one run on four hits, while throwing only 65 pitches and recording 18-of-21 outs on ground balls.

“Throwing a complete game with only 65 pitches is unheard of,” Snyder said. “He pounded the zone, used all his pitches and did everything he was supposed to do today.”

Rivas was aided by an almost flawless defensive performance by the Viking infield, which fielded the constant ground balls with ease.

“He was making good pitches that were down in the zone and had some sink on his pitches,” said Schulhofer of Rivas. “We were hitting the ball hard, right at guys, and they made plays.”

Canyon starter Donnie Young appeared to be in control of the game early, retiring the first four batters, before an error and a single set up Quintero’s first three-run home run. Young continued to struggle keeping the ball in the park, giving up a solo shot to Christian Lopes in the third inning and back-to-back solo home runs in the fourth to Trey Williams and Alex Bishop.

Young took the loss, allowing nine runs (six earned) in four innings pitched.

Quintero capped the Viking scoring with another three-run blast off Canyon reliever Garrett Hayes in the seventh inning.

The Cowboys’ only run came in the fifth inning, on a two-out RBI single from senior left fielder Robert Wright.

As Valencia (9-6, 4-2) moves into a tie for second place in the Foothill League with Saugus, Canyon (2-15, 0-6) falls deeper into last place.

“We are better than we are,” Schulhofer said. “We just have to figure out how to do it in a game.”

The two teams will meet again on Friday at Valencia.

“It’s still early,” Snyder said. “We can only take care of our business and focus on every pitch, at bat and defensive play.”

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