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VIBL: Foothill falls in quarters

West Ranch and Saugus lose in Valley Invitational Baseball League postseason

Posted: July 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 26, 2011 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch catcher Josh Heinz, right, slides safely into third base after hitting a triple in the second inning against Woodland Hills West on Monday at West Ranch in the quarterfinals of the Valley Invitational Baseball League playoffs.

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There were only two Foothill League representatives in the quarterfinals of the Valley Invitational Baseball League playoffs.

However, there won't be any in the semifinals.

Saugus and West Ranch both lost in the quarters on Friday, ending the summer seasons for both programs.

The Centurions were defeated 18-6 at Chatsworth, while the Wildcats fell 9-1 to Woodland Hills West at West Ranch.

The Wildcats entered the VIBL postseason as the No. 1 overall seed, but found themselves behind 5-0 in the first inning on Friday.

West Ranch was unable to close the gap, and tacked on its lone run in the fourth inning on a RBI single by Justin Hovis. Gabe Peralta scored on the play.

"We are very pleased with our summer performance," said Wildcats head coach Casey Burrill. "Obviously, we won a lot of games, several in the last couple weeks that were come-from-behind victories, so we do like the fight, the energy and the drive the boys showed this summer. We were more offensive this summer than we were last spring. That was an important goal for us. And we think we had the emergence of a couple good arms behind J.C. (Cloney)."

Two of those arms were Cody Bennett and Avery Ortiz, Burrill said.

Daniel Ruiz took the loss for West Ranch (19-3). Hovis was the team's top hitter, batting 2-for-3.

Woodland Hills West outhit the Wildcats 10-7.

The game marked West Ranch's first VIBL loss since dropping back-to-back games on June 20 and 22.

Saugus, meanwhile, appeared to be in the driver's seat in its quarterfinal matchup.

But up 3-0 in the third, the Centurions eased their grip.

The Chancellors jumped ahead 5-3 in the bottom of the frame, but Saugus responded with two runs of its own in the fourth.

Then with one out in the bottom of the innings, the Centurions committed three consecutive errors and Chatsworth took advantage.

The Chancellors scored six runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth to take a commanding lead.

Tate Miller took the loss for Saugus, while Justin Donatella had two hits and two RBIs, and Austin Rodriguez added two hits.

"This is a real tight group, a real team-oriented group," said Centurions head coach John Maggiora. "We had guys that were committed this summer, that were at every game, and made this a priority, and I think that is going to be big for us."



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