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VIBL: Arms on display

Barlow, Smith strong in the Grizzlies’ win over Montclair Prep

Posted: June 8, 2010 10:02 p.m.
Updated: June 9, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Golden Valley pitcher Scott Barlow throws against Montclair Prep on Tuesday afternoon at Golden Valley High School. The Grizzlies won the game by the score of 8-3.

Golden Valley surprised many people with six Foothill League wins last season, but it may have the arms to make an even more substantial impact next season.

At least one major Division I college program has taken notice.

In front of a scout from UC Irvine, Golden Valley pitchers Scott Barlow and Josh Smith had impressive performances in their 8-3 win over Montclair Prep of Van Nuys Tuesday in both teams' Valley Invitational Baseball League opener at Golden Valley High school.

After allowing two runs to score off walks in the first inning, Barlow struck out eight over four innings and allowed only three hits.

"It wasn't so easy early, because I was having trouble finding the strike zone," Barlow said. "There was definitely a little bit of nerves (with the scout out), but my curveball helped me a lot. That was my best pitch today and my cutter was good."

After the shaky start, Barlow was downright dominant.

"I think he was trying to do too much," said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin. "Once he let his stuff work, he was pretty nasty."

Smith picked up right where Barlow left off, allowing just an unearned run on two errors in the fifth. Smith didn't allow a ball to leave the infield and struck out three in the final three innings.

"Our pitchers didn't panic at all and they both did a nice job," Drootin said. "And don't forget, they haven't thrown for a few weeks, so they have a little rust. All and all I was pretty happy with the way they performed."

Although Barlow and Smith appeared to control the game on the mound, Montclair Prep had a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning before a six-run Golden Valley burst in the bottom half.

The Grizzlies had four hits in the frame, including a two-RBI single from soon-to-be senior catcher Rocky Sherwood.

Golden Valley had a hit in every inning prior to the fifth, but struggled to push runs across.

"We are still getting used to swinging wood bats for the first time," Drootin said. "I knew it would take a little bit of time, but I was impressed that we hit some balls pretty good."

Third baseman Anthony San Miguel had a single and scored a run in the crucial fifth inning and finished 3-for-4 at the plate with two runs and an RBI.

"Anthony, toward the end of the season, was one of our hot hitters," Drootin said. "He's just going to get better and better. He's just starting to get in his groove and he did a good job of keeping the ball centered."

The Golden Valley lineup looked a lot like last season, with a large crop of returning impact starters.

"We had some victories (last year) that no one expected us to get, but we're making improvements and that's why we're playing in this league," Drootin said. "It's easy for me. I know all their numbers, so I don't have to look them up, because they've all been here for a while."




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