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CIF baseball: Silence falls on Valencia

Vikings manage just two hits in wild-card loss

Posted: May 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 16, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia pitcher Chris Gimenez works the sixth inning in the Vikings' game against Corona on Tuesday at Valencia High.

 

The local prep baseball season began with the talk of just how potent Valencia’s offense could be, led by the powerful trio of Trey Williams, Brian Mundell and A.J. Balta.

The talk ends for Valencia with the silence of the team’s entire offense.

Corona pitcher Daniel Pena pitched a two-hit shutout and Valencia lost 3-0 to the Panthers on Tuesday at Valencia High in the wild-card round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

And those two hits were questionable. One could debate that Pena threw a no-hitter.

Valencia’s Kyle Sanchez dropped down a bunt in the second inning that was overran by third baseman Jacob Malcolm but scored a hit, and Johnny Ives hit a line drive that first baseman John Gonzalez couldn’t handle in the fifth inning for another hit.

Valencia’s one through four hitters, Williams, Keston Hiura, Mundell and Balta went a combined 0-for-11.

“That kid pitched a great game. My God, he was outstanding,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “They made the plays. We made one mistake. That was the ball game.”

Valencia’s J.D. Busfield pitched an outstanding game and was matching Pena almost pitch for pitch.

With one on and two out in the third inning, Panther Zak Cavazos hit a high chopper to Ives at third base that skipped off his glove.

That extended the inning for Adrian Marmolejo, who doubled to right field to knock in the game’s first run.

Cole Young then followed with a two-RBI single to put the Panthers (15-14) up 3-0.

Otherwise, Busfield was stellar for the Vikings (19-9).

He went five innings, allowing four hits while striking out five batters.

He had no support, though.

Valencia’s best opportunity came in the second when Balta drew a leadoff walk and Sanchez got on with his bunt single.

But Pena, who said he was pitching backward early relying on his breaking stuff for his primary pitches, got a pop up and two strikeouts to end the inning.

As the game got late and the senior pitcher’s hamstring started to tighten up, he said his goal was to pitch to contact and rely on his defense.

He allowed two walks and struck out six batters in the game.

“I have a ton of respect for them, but at the same time, Pena has outstanding stuff,” said Corona head coach Andy Wise. “We were going to come out and challenge them.”

It’s a rough way for two Valencia stars to end their career, but Williams and Mundell are likely high picks in the 2012 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.

“It’s hard walking out of here,” Williams said.

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