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Foothill League baseball: Vikes take the help

Valencia’s already potent offense gets an assist from Golden Valley’s defense in league opener

Posted: March 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 15, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

The last time Valencia took the field, it knocked around highly touted Harvard-Westlake pitcher Max Fried.

The Vikings did the same thing to Golden Valley’s pitching staff — with a little help from the Grizzlies.

Valencia took advantage of five errors and scored 12 runs in the first three innings en route to a 13-5 victory on Wednesday at Golden Valley High School in the Foothill League opener for both teams.

“We had great approaches early in the game,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “We squared up a lot of baseballs. That was good to see.”

The game started on a sour note for Golden Valley (1-5 overall, 0-1 Foothill League), when Valencia leadoff hitter Trey Williams swatted a high fly ball into left field that was dropped.

Williams made the Grizzlies pay, stealing third and scoring on an RBI ground out by Brian Mundell.

The senior slugger Mundell sustained a stinger in his shoulder on the play, and Snyder said he’s day to day.

The Vikings (5-1, 1-0) added two more runs in the first inning, but they really put the game out of reach in the second.
Michael Fischbach and Johnny Ives both scored on errors, freshman cleanup hitter Devon Davis plated two runs with a single and Keston Hiura drove in another run with a single.

Fischbach plated two more runs with a single to cap a seven-run inning in which Valencia batted around.

It might have been different had Golden Valley done a better job of covering for each other in the infield, which led to a couple of the errors.

“We made some critical errors,” said head coach Scott Drootin. “It’s going to happen with a young team. We’ve got to learn how to play catch.”

Golden Valley scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the fifth.

Riley Sherwood singled and Billy Fredrick doubled to start the inning, and both came home on a double by Adrian Carballo to cut Valencia’s lead to 12-4.

As potent as Valencia’s offense has been, starting pitcher Connor Chase turned in a solid effort.

The senior left-hander went five innings and gave up four runs on six hits, despite extended breaks because of the offensive output.

“He had long innings in between,” Snyder said. “I think he’ll be much sharper (in upcoming games).”

Williams, one of the top high school prospects in the nation, didn’t record a hit, but he did score three times and drew three walks. Two of the times he reached base were a direct result of Golden Valley errors.

He liked what he saw out of his team on Wednesday.

“When we swing the bats and the pitchers do what they need to do and we play good defense, we’re pretty much unbeatable,” he said.

Jonah Sabedra started the game on the mound for Golden Valley and took the loss after not making it out of the second inning. Golden Valley used four pitchers in the game.

Fredrick went 2-for-4 with two runs, while Sherwood was 1-for-2 with two runs and a walk.

Davis went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs, while Hiura was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs. Fischbach also had two hits in Valencia’s first game in a week and a half.

“It felt like forever since we’ve played,” Snyder said. “The way we came out today, I was very happy.”

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