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Stars of summer

• VIBL starting to heat up with baseball's future standouts

Posted: June 19, 2008 1:46 a.m.
Updated: August 20, 2008 5:03 a.m.

It wasn't the sight of a typical Foothill League matchup between Valencia and Saugus.

But it's summertime and the start of the VIBL season so competition isn't too thick­-not yet at least.

Nonetheless, spectators, coaches, and players got a glimpse of what the make-up of spring 2009 baseball teams will look like.

Saugus edged the Vikings, 8-7, on the Centurions home field on Wednesday.

"Standings-wise, wins and losses these games aren't that important," Saugus head coach John Maggiora said. "It will get competitive after the All-Star break but these first few games you just try to get guys in situations and give them opportunities to succeed or fail, hopefully succeed."

"We just want to try to find guys in different spots and see what they can do," Maggiora added.

Maggiora experimented with multiple hurlers at the mound.

Tommy Kister pitched two innings for the Centurions, followed by Eric Timchak in the third, Camilo Girgado in the fourth, Scott Lombardi in the fifth and sixth.

Kevin Podratz closed out the game in the seventh.

Saugus' Garrett Smith blasted a home run in the fifth off a Bernardino fastball.

"I was just trying to give my team a chance to win, put the bat on the ball and make something happen " Smith said.

Even without its usual suspects, Valencia's offense did not have trouble scoring.

Led by senior Dylan Jones, who homered in the first inning, the burgeoning Vikings cast held strong. Along with Jones, seniors Kyle Eaton, Taylor Dingman and Dominic Solley will also return to the Vikings line-up next season.

Valencia's No. 1 hitter, Christian Lopes, was absent in Wednesday's game.

Lopes has a busy summer including the Junior Olympics in Phoenix, Ariz., the East Cobb games in Georgia and the Mariners Cup at Safeco Field in Seattle.

Valencia's Justin Hanks started on the mound for the Vikings and pitched three innings striking out two.

Brennan Bernardino and Curtis White also took to the mound for the Valencia squad.

Despite the loss of senior pitchers Josh Corrales and Robbie Mousselli, Jones said he is looking forward to next season and assures this season's team will have just as much success as the ‘08 ball club, if not more.

Valencia finished No. 2 in league behind Hart and made it to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

"We're trying to win Foothill and possibly CIF and we have a lot of guys that are willing to step up," Jones said. "I'm feeling pretty confident. Our coaching staff is amazing. We'll be able to develop pitchers and all that stuff, I'm not worried at all."

Although the Vikings came up short in Wednesday's game, Jones said it wasn't a complete loss, with the most important thing being the progression of the players in each game.

"These games are important for developing the younger kids and keeping our varsity kids fresh."


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