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Prep baseball: Vikes aim for fences

Valencia hits five homers in blowout

Posted: March 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 19, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

There wasn’t much Canyon pitchers could do about it.

Valencia’s hitters had them figured out from the first at-bat.

Five home runs helped the hot-hitting Vikings turn their Foothill League opener into a 12-2 runaway over Canyon on Friday at Valencia High School.

Against the Cowboys’ finesse style of pitching, Valencia (5-1, 1-0) got on the board early and didn’t let up throughout the day.

“We did a great job of being really patient,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “We do a good job of being patient, but at the same time being aggressive.”

It was a formula that began with leadoff hitter Alex Bishop, who laced a double down the line into left field in the opening inning.

A.J. Balta followed him up with a two-run home run hit the other way into left-center.

After two batters, the Vikings had tied it up 2-2, erasing a Canyon lead build by Patrick Roxbury’s two-RBI double in the top half of the frame.

“We knew they were going to score some runs,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “They hit some good pitches, they hit some bad pitches, and that’s how it went.”

Balta added a second homer, a solo shot, in the second inning as part of a five-run rally by the Vikings to put them up 7-2.
Bishop added a two-run blast earlier in the inning, adding to his 2-for-3, three-RBI day.

That spelled an end to Cowboys starter J.T. Arguellez’s day. He went 1 2/3 innings and was credited with four earned runs.

“We knew they were going to throw some slow pitches at us, so in (batting practice) this week, we focused on sitting back and waiting for the ball,” Balta said.

Outside of the first inning, Canyon (3-4, 0-1) didn’t get much going offensively against Valencia’s Nick Rivas on the mound.

After allowing two hits and two walks in the first, he ended up going five innings and allowing four total hits and no additional walks.

“We got the jitters out,” Snyder said of Rivas’ rough start. “It was his first league game starting as the No. 1 guy and I think he was just a little amped up. He did a great job of calming himself.”

The run support helped too.

Valencia continued to jump on Canyon’s pitchers, adding a solo home run in the fourth off the bat of Shane Zeile and another two-run shot in the fifth by Quincy Quintero.

Cowboys pitcher Kyle Pressman came in during the fifth inning and closed out Valencia the rest of the way, retiring all five batters he faced.

But the damage was done, and Valencia is off to the start it wanted in league play.

“We’re a good hitting team, but we’ve got to stay with it,” Balta said. “It’s not just going to come to us.”

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