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Vikings heading on strong note into playoffs

Posted: May 3, 2008 5:08 a.m.
Updated: July 4, 2008 5:02 a.m.

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The playoff-bound Valencia Vikings baseball team is making its presence known to every team it faces from now until the first round.

The Vikings (19-6, 11-2), who clinched a spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs with their win over West Ranch on Wednesday, gave yet another strong performance against the Wildcats on Friday at Curtis Sand and Gravel field defeating West Ranch 9-6.

Valencia's offense was led by freshman Christian Lopes who blasted a grand slam over the center field wall in the second inning.

"I was just trying to get on base," Lopes said. "I wanted to get the runner on third across but when I got the pitch I was looking for, a high fastball, I took it out."

Lopes answered again when he hit his eighth home run of the season in the bottom of the sixth.

"Great players come up clutch," said Vikings pitcher Robbie Mousselli.

"Christian's hits were big for us and I think it took the wind out of their sails and put it into ours."

Lopes was 2-for-4 with five RBIs. Mouselli pitched 6 2/3 innings for the Vikings allowing 10 hits, striking out seven and walking two.

"I felt like I started out pretty good," Mousselli said. "When I got tired I definitely had to lean on my defense a little more."

West Ranch junior Jake Bernards. accounted for the first run of the game off a solo home run in the top of the second.

The Wildcats fed off the momentum of Bernards home run and finished with 11 hits on the game, four more than the Vikings. Lopes grand slam, however, made them play catch up.

In the third Bernards doubled to drive in the Wildcats second run followed by a single to left field from third baseman Mitchell Thompson. West Ranch scored its final run with a solo home run from C.J Woldanski at the top of the fifth.

But the Vikings lead was insurmountable and with the loss the Wildcats are no longer in playoff contention.

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