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Valencia starts CIF baseball playoffs with a win

Vikings are now the last Foothill League team standing

Posted: May 23, 2014 10:22 p.m.
Updated: May 23, 2014 10:22 p.m.

Valencia's Scott Ogrin hits a home run for the Vikings on Friday in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs at Valencia High.

 

Just when it appeared the ghosts of the Valencia’s postseason past were looming over Valencia High on Friday, the fears of the Viking faithful were abruptly put to rest.

The Vikings fell behind early but quickly recovered, as they prevailed over the Thousand Oaks Lancers 11-2 in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

With the win, Valencia moves into the second round of the postseason for just the second time since 2009.

“I knew we could score runs and I wasn’t really worried about coming back,” said Valencia interim head coach Mike Killinger. “Yeah you don’t want to go down 2-0 in the first inning of a playoff game. But I was confident that we could at least get back in it. I didn’t expect eight runs right off the bat, but I’ll take it.”

After the Lancers tagged Valencia starting pitcher Kevin Chandler for three hits and two runs in the first inning, the Viking bats responded.

Valencia (18-9) answered with an eight-run, two-out rally, including a two-RBI double by Chris McCready and a three-run home run by Keston Hiura.

“After watching the top of the first, we weren’t worried. You have to score runs to win anyways, and we came in the bottom of the inning knowing we had to at least get two back,” Hiura said. “And our bats came alive.”

The Vikings tallied seven hits in the inning — six coming with two outs.

Valencia led 8-2 after the first.

With plenty of run support to work with, Chandler found his groove.

The junior right-hander allowed a single in the second, which was the last hit he would surrender on the day.

He allowed two earned runs, four hits with three walks and struck out seven over his complete-game effort.

Scott Ogrin added a three-run home run in the fourth to push the lead to 11-2.

Ogrin finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs, while Hiura went 2-for-3 with three RBIs.

Hiura’s long-ball was his state-leading 13th of the season.

Anthony Lepre and Jacob Silva each added a hit and two runs for the Vikings.

Thousand Oaks (17-11) got on the board with a two-run home run by Jack Rosenberg to score Bailey Holbrook in the first.

Rosenberg and Holbrook both finished 1-for-3.

“I don’t know if it was so much (Chandler) taking us out of a rhythm (at the plate), I think it was their bats that stole the wind out of our sails,” said Thousand Oaks head coach Ryan Geisler. “(But) my hat’s off to Valencia. They’re a heck of a team. They can swing it.”

The Vikings will look to continue to stay hot as they take on JSerra Catholic — the bracket’s No. 1 overall seed — in the second-round of the CIF-SS Div. 1 playoffs on Tuesday.

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