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Foothill baseball: Second baseman Caldwell has huge day for West Ranch

Posted: March 31, 2010 11:08 p.m.
Updated: April 1, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Wildcats shortstop Randy Poe, front, makes a catch as outfielder Michael Alvarez looks on Wednesday at West Ranch.

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West Ranch second baseman Chris Caldwell said he called Occidental College head baseball coach Jason Hawkins on Wednesday to verbally commit to the school.

Caldwell said Hawkins was excited to get the news.

Wait ‘til he hears about this.

Caldwell hit two home runs, reached base all four times he went to the plate and knocked in four runs in the Wildcats' 15-3 mercy-rule victory over Golden Valley at West Ranch High on Wednesday.

"This is new," said Caldwell, who had never had a multi-home run game in his life before Wednesday.

In his fourth at-bat, after a solo home run in the first inning and a two-run shot in the third, Caldwell faced a 3-0 count.

"I wanted to swing out of my shoes there," he admitted.

He resisted temptation and settled for the walk.

Caldwell wasn't the only heavy hitter for the Wildcats.

Sophomore Josh Heinz continued his tear.

He put West Ranch (7-2, 2-1) on the board with a two-run homer in the first inning, then he hit a sacrifice fly in the second that preceded a Caldwell RBI-double, which gave the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.

Heinz contributed in West Ranch's six-run third inning with an RBI double and knocked in a pair with a single in the bottom of the fourth, setting the score at 15-3.

The third baseman was 3-for-3 with six RBIs.

In his last five games, Heinz is 10-for-15 with 17 RBIs.

"I have never had a sophomore hit like this for me - ever," said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill.

This game was a rarity in that it was called after 4 1/2 innings.

The mercy rule has not been used in a varsity Foothill League baseball game in recent memory.

But according to both coaching staffs, if they both agree to end a game, they can.

That was the case on Wednesday as Golden Valley's pitching couldn't hold up.

The Grizzlies (3-7, 0-3) used four different pitchers on the day.

That wasn't the only issue, though, as the Golden Valley defense continued to have issues, making four errors.

Yet the Grizzlies had their opportunities offensively.

They loaded the bases in the second and third innings, but West Ranch starting pitcher Ryan Keller escaped both times - in the second with a double-play grounder and the third on a soft grounder.

"I'm not discouraged because I see a little bit of a light at the end of the tunnel," said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin. "If we played good defense, who knows what can happen?"

Golden Valley's only runs came on a three-run home run from senior Jon Granado in the fourth inning, cutting West Ranch's lead to 12-3.

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