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Vikes get quarter’s worth

Valencia hits six home runs and scores 25 runs

Posted: April 17, 2009 10:03 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Alex Bishop, left, slides past the tag of Canyon's Robert Wright Friday at Valencia High. Viking Christian Lopes (14) looks on behind the play.

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Valencia High baseball continued its offensive onslaught on Canyon High this season, blasting six home runs, including two grand slams, in a 25-6 drubbing of the Cowboys at Valencia High School on Friday.

Two home runs came from Viking left fielder Alex Pitman. His first, a grand slam in the fourth inning, gave Valencia a 10-4 lead and pushed Cowboy starting pitcher Robert Wright out of the game.

“I knew after my second at bat I had to sit back on the ball,” Pitman said. “They were throwing lots of curveballs. I talked to my coaches and they just told me to sit back and wait for it.”

Although he gave up 10 runs, Wright pitched well, striking out four Vikings in three innings pitched. Only three earned runs were charged to Wright, as frequent Cowboy errors kept innings alive.

“That’s been us,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer of the Cowboys’ inconsistent play in the field. “A guy’s keeping us in it and he’s on his own. There’s no support.”

The Cowboys (2-16, 0-7) committed six errors in the game, and 17 of the 25 Viking runs were unearned.

Wright was also the Cowboys’ most efficient offensive threat, batting 3-for-4 with an RBI out of the leadoff spot.

Valencia (10-6, 5-2) jumped out on top 2-0 in the first, after sophomore third baseman Christian Lopes hit his eighth home run of the season to lead off the game. Lopes opened the scoring for the Vikings and his brother, freshman Timmy Lopes, closed the scoring for Valencia, with a pinch-hit grand slam in the sixth.

The grand slam came in the freshman’s first varsity at bat of his career, as he has been fighting an injury for most of the year.

“He’s a good little hitter,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “He is aggressive in the count and has only been swinging for about a week (because of injury).”

Canyon responded to the Vikings’ quick start with three runs in the second, capped by a Wright RBI double. After another RBI double from senior Chili Viall in the third inning, the Cowboys’ had a 4-2 lead and seemed to be in line for their first Foothill League win heading into the bottom half of the inning.

That’s when it all fell apart for the Cowboys.

Wright gave up another home run to begin the third, this time to Dylan Jones, but quickly recovered, getting the first out on a ground ball to second baseman Evan Kim. But two consecutive errors followed, paving the way for an eight-run inning capped by Pitman’s grand slam.

“For a little while we were doing well,” Schulhofer said. “But when those guys hit like that, what can we do?”

Canyon cut the lead to 13-6 in the sixth on a two-run home run from designated hitter Nathan Smith, but again suffered a dismal bottom half of the inning.

Valencia hit three home runs in the bottom of the sixth and scored 12 runs.

All of Valencia’s home runs went to left field, as opposed to Wednesday, when the Vikings hit all five of their home runs to right field, in a 12-1 victory over the Cowboys at Canyon High School.

“We are continually making adjustments based on the pitcher we are facing,” Snyder said.

Relief pitcher Tyler Anderson got the win for the Vikings, allowing three runs (one earned) over five innings. Anderson stepped in for left handed starter David Hausman, who was pulled after surrendering three runs in two innings of work.

“(Anderson’s) done that all year for us,” Snyder said. “(Hausman) just didn’t have command today. He struggled throwing strikes.”

The win completes a season sweep for Valencia. The Vikings have outscored Canyon 47-11 in three games this season.

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