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Prep baseball: Vikings come up short

Valencia receives solid pitching performance but can’t bring home runners in scoring position in los

Posted: March 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 2, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Hitting isn’t something Valencia baseball teams have struggled with recently.

Against the tough pitching of Alemany High of Mission Hills, the young Vikings couldn’t even get a run across.

Despite a strong outing from Valencia starter J.D. Busfield, Alemany won 1-0 on Thursday in the semifinal round of the Easton Tournament at Valencia High School.

“Those types of games can go either way,” Busfield said. “It just comes down to who makes a play when they need to and (Alemany) was the one that did today.”

Valencia will take on Harvard-Westlake in the tournament finals due to already agreed-upon matchups by the teams’ coaches.

The Warriors (4-0) handed the Vikings their first loss of the season thanks to an unearned run scored in the sixth inning.

With Alemany shortstop Peter Van Gansen on first base with a leadoff single, Ryan Alvarez laid down a bunt toward first base to move the runner along.

Busfield left the pitcher’s mound to go after the ball, but couldn’t make the play at first to get Alvarez. The ball skipped behind the bag, allowing Van Gansen to advance to third on the play.

The next batter, Corey Sims, brought Van Gansen home with a sacrifice fly to left-center field.

It was the only run given up by Busfield in six innings of work where he allowed just four hits and struck out six.

“He had command of two or three pitches, kept it down in the strike zone,” said Alemany head coach Randy Thompson of Busfield. “It came down to us getting down a bunt and moving a runner along.”

Valencia (3-1) couldn’t respond even though it loaded the bases twice in the game.

“They pitched well, we pitched well, our hitters didn’t have good at bat at all,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

The Vikings loaded the bases in the fourth and seventh innings, but they had a golden opportunity in the fourth when two runners stood on second and third with one out.

Vikings shortstop Trey Williams started things off with a single before stealing second and taking third on a wild pitch.

Catcher Brian Mundell was hit by Alemany pitcher Chase Davis before stealing second.

But Davis held strong, striking out Valencia freshman Devon Davis and inducing an inning-ending groundout from Anthony Lepre.

Davis was the winning pitcher after he tossed a scoreless fourth and fifth inning.

“You’re going to take lumps like that and you just hope they learn from that and keep going,” Snyder said.

The Warriors also saw a nearly perfect outing from starter Cody Thompson, who pitched the first three innings allowing just one baserunner, who reached on an error.

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