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Foothill baseball roundup: Vikings are still in Foothill mix

Valencia defeats the league leading Indians

Posted: April 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 25, 2012 1:55 a.m.
 

Despite highly touted Valencia slipping in the Foothill League title hunt early, the Vikings still have the potential to win any league game on any given day.

They showed that Tuesday by defeating Foothill-leading Hart 4-2 on Tuesday at Valencia High.

“If we played like we did today the rest of the season and compete like we did with the energy level, we’re going to give ourselves a chance to be in this thing,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

The Vikings (13-7 overall, 6-4 Foothill League) got a much-needed solid performance by J.D. Busfield on the mound and a two-RBI day from slugger Brian Mundell, including a fourth-inning solo home run.

With the victory, Valencia is still in the Foothill title race with five games remaining.

The Vikings trail the Indians (13-8, 8-2) by two games and created a one-game gap between Hart and second place West Ranch and Saugus.

Busfield, who struggled April 18 against West Ranch and failed to escape the second inning, came back Tuesday to pitch a complete game, three-hitter, allowing a walk while striking out five.

The big right-hander’s only blemish was a fourth-inning, two-run home run by C.J. Witkowski that gave the Indians a 2-1 lead.

“He did a great job for us,” Snyder said of Busfield. “He commanded all his pitches today really and utilized his fastball. ... He competed his butt off.”

Valencia grabbed a 1-0 third-inning lead with a Trey Williams RBI single.

Mundell tied it in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run and Valencia grabbed two more runs in the bottom of the fifth with a Keston Hiura RBI double and Mundell RBI single.

Saugus 8, Canyon 4
Saugus got all of its offense in the first two innings and defeated Canyon 8-4 Tuesday at Canyon High.

Dylan Freyre hit a home run in the first inning for the Centurions (13-8-1, 7-3), then they added seven more runs in the second.

Austin Rodriguez got the big hit with a three-run home run and Freyre added a two-run double.

Now Saugus trails first-place Hart by one game.

“We were hoping to be in the mix long enough,” said Saugus head coach John Maggiora of his hopes coming into league.

“If Valencia beats Hart on Friday and we win and West Ranch wins, we go into the last four games all jumbled together.

It’s going to be exciting.”

If Valencia wins on Friday and the Saugus and West Ranch win, one game would separate the top four teams in the Foothill League.

Saugus wasn’t expected to be in that mix before the season, but is 7-0 against Foothill opponents other than Hart.

They will look to sweep the season series against Canyon (6-16, 2-8) on Friday.

On Tuesday, Saugus got a complete game from Justin Donatella, who allowed only two earned runs. He wiggled out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning.

Canyon got runs in the first, third, fourth and fifth innings, with RBIs coming from Jacob King in the first and third, followed by Chris Serrano and Kevin Morrice.

The bright spot for Canyon was Max Weinstein who came in in the second inning and went 5 2/3 allowing six hits and no runs, while striking out seven.

West Ranch 14,
Golden Valley 2

West Ranch pounced on Golden Valley’s mistakes on Tuesday and defeated the Grizzlies 14-2 at Golden Valley High.

Wildcats center fielder Jagger Rusconi went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and three runs scored and Cody Bennett went five innings on the mound, allowing three hits, two runs, one earned, while walking one and striking out six.

West Ranch (13-7-1, 7-3) scored five runs in the fourth to take an 8-1 lead, then added six more in the top of the fifth to go up 14-1.

Rusconi hit a two-run inside-the-park home run in the fourth inning.

In the fifth, Casey Gahan got the offense going with an RBI triple. Rusconi, Josh Heinz and J.D. Krauskopf all had RBI singles in the frame and two more runs came across on a Golden Valley error.

The Grizzles (4-16, 0-10) committed four errors in the game.

Heinz was 2-for-3 in the game with two RBIs and Justin Hovis also knocked in a pair.

Billy Fredrick was 2-for-2 with two runs for the Grizzlies.

Joseph Garrett was 1-for-3 with an RBI.

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