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Foothill League baseball: Canyon takes second series

Cowboys take advantage of Golden Valley’s miscues

Posted: May 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

This is starting to look routine for Canyon baseball.

Nothing flashy, grind-it-out pitching, situational hitting and alert baserunning.

The Cowboys did just enough of all three to get past Golden Valley 3-1 in Friday’s rubber match of the season series between the teams at Golden Valley High School.

“We’ve had to battle every game,” said Canyon senior Kyle Pressman. “It’s our offense that’s let us down in the past. The pitching usually keeps us in games.”

Canyon (10-15, 5-8) secured its second series victory against a Foothill League opponent this season, also taking two of three from Saugus last month.

That’s the first time a Canyon team has done so since 2007.

“This was a good game,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “For both teams, winning the series was important.”
The Grizzlies (13-10, 4-9) didn’t do themselves any favors, committing two errors in the fourth inning to help the Cowboys score all three of their runs in the frame.

First baseman Curtis Faulkner knocked the first run home when he tagged a ball off the wall in left-center field, plating Cole Mears who was on base via a leadoff single.

At that point, it was tied 1-1.

The next two batters, Pressman and Jacob King, got aboard with bunts which were mishandled by Golden Valley third baseman Anthony San Miguel. Faulkner scored on Pressman’s bunt and King scored later in the inning off a Harry Bennett single to center field.

The 3-1 cushion was all Canyon’s pitchers needed.

“You’ve got to be able to do the little things to win games,” said Golden Valley head coach Scot Drootin. “I don’t know what the difference between today and Wednesday was, but I think we made it hard on ourselves today.”

On Wednesday, the Grizzlies beat Canyon 9-7 behind patience and timely execution at the plate. Friday’s game proved a stark contrast, as Grizzlies hitters failed to bunt runners along and take advantage of several baserunners.

Canyon starter Nick Diaz, who was battling a sore back, tossed 4 2/3 innings for the win, allowing one unearned run.

At times, he struggled to get the ball across the plate, but he induced enough ground balls and relied on his defense to get it done.

Chris Galvez scored Golden Valley’s only run in the third when Ryan Alvarez reached on an error by Bennett at shortstop.
Other than that, the Cowboys played solid defense, turning two double plays in the game to get Diaz out of jams.

In the fifth inning, Diaz was pulled in favor of reliever Chris Serrano after allowing the Grizzlies to get two runners on.

Serrano got out of the inning in one pitch, inducing an Alvarez flyout.

Serrano went on to close out the sixth and seventh while allowing just one hit the rest of the way.

Golden Valley starter Joey Anderson pitched a complete game, allowing just one earned run off seven hits to go with five strikeouts.

Canyon is now in fourth place in the standings with two games to play against Valencia next week.

“We know people don’t respect us and they expect us to finish in last place, but we’re just going to get ready to face Valencia,” Pressman said.

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