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Vikings make playoffs

Posted: May 8, 2008 3:26 a.m.
Updated: July 9, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Valencia High second baseman Matt Higgins gets set to field a pickoff throw as Saugus runner Troy Ajer slides back safely. Valencia defeated the Centurions 5-1, to clinch second place in the Foothill League.

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With the regular season Foothill League baseball coming to an end Valencia and Saugus are shifting their focus to the postseason.

"We achieved our goal this season of making it to CIF," said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. "We want to make a run in the playoffs, and you never know what can happen."

The Vikings (20-6,12-2) had a playoff mentality on Wednesday when they defeated Saugus on the Centurions home field 5-1.

" We have to keep doing what we're doing ," said Vikings starting pitcher Josh Corralles. "As long as we keep working hard and keep progressing we can go far."

Valencia will clinch the No. 2 spot in league. Its only two losses of the season were to first place Hart.

Saugus (16-10, 9-6), which has locked down third place in league, is looking to go into the playoffs on a winning streak.

Centurions head coach John Maggiora wants his team to be the lone soldiers in the end.

"We want to be the last ones standing," he said. "The last ones, playing in the last game of the playoffs."

Corralles pitched a complete game on Wednesday striking out eight and allowing four hits. He also added his eighth win of the season.

"I felt great," Corralles said. "Everything was working well, I was hitting my spots."

Corralles shutout the Centurions for four innings. Saugus scored its first and only run off a Troy Ajer sacrifice fly in the fifth.

The Vikings, however, were scoreless until the sixth inning.

In that inning, they finally got to Saugus starter Darren Schweitzer, touching him up for four runs.

Robbie Mousselli drove in the Vikings first run of the game off a Schweitzer offering with a double to center tying the Centurions 1-1.

"I knew when I stepped to the plate I wanted to get something started," Mousselli said.

Mousselli went 1-for-3 at the plate with one RBI.

Tommy Ferndino then came to the plate and hit a bunt single bringing in the Vikings second run.

It was all the Vikings would need to seal the win, but they didn't stop there.

With the Vikings leading 2-1 and one runner on base sophomore Kyle Eaton blasted a home run to center and Valencia extended its lead 4-1.

"I was just focused on how I was going to get the run home," Eaton said. " Once the ball went over the fence I felt relaxed after that."

Eaton was 1-for-3 on the game and had two RBIs.

The Centurions looked to cool off the Vikings by bringing in relief pitcher Michael Herbert in the sixth.

Christian Lopes drove in the Vikings final run of the game with a single to center.

Lopes was 1-for-4 with one RBI on the game.

Corralles threw 11 pitches to retire the last three Centurions batters.

The Vikings will face Saugus one more time again on Friday at home to complete their regular season schedule.

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