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VIBL: Comeback spoiled

Valencia returns from a 6-0 deficit, but gives up four in eighth

Posted: July 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 18, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia third baseman Hunter Holland, left, reaches for a throw on Tuesday as Harvard-Westlake's Johnny Getzoff slides into the base at Valencia High.

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Despite coming back from six runs down early, Valencia fell to Harvard-Westlake 11-7 in the Vikings’ Valley Invitational Baseball League (VIBL) regular season finale on Tuesday.

The big inning haunted the Vikings throughout as they gave up four runs in the eighth inning and were their own worst enemy.

Valencia pitcher Chris McCready struggled to find the strike zone as he walked four batters and threw two scoring wild pitches to contribute to Harvard-Westlake’s four-run rally to break the 7-7 tie.

Harvard-Westlake catcher Arden Pabst’s RBI single was the only hit of the inning as all the other base runners reached off walks.

“We walked four guys in the eighth and all of them scored,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “There is no excuse for that.”

In the early innings, the Vikings did not help their cause as they gave up a string of hits to Harvard-Westlake, leading to a two-run second frame and a four-run third.

Valencia (6-6) was quick to answer with three runs in the bottom half of the fourth, highlighted by a Keston Hiura RBI double off the wall and a Hunter Holland RBI single, to cut the deficit in half, making the score 6-3.

In the very next inning, Viking third baseman Holland wasn’t done making his presence felt as he belted a three-run home run to left field with two outs in the fifth to tie the score at 6-6.

Harvard-Westlake had pitching problems of its own as relief pitcher Johnny Getzoff gave up seven runs in five innings to spark the Viking comeback, before his team bailed him out late in the game.

After giving up a Wolverine run to break the tie, Hiura came up clutch again for the Vikings with a scorching RBI line-drive single in the sixth to tie the score 7-7 until Harvard-Westlake came up in the eight to finally put the game away.

The Vikings do not have a lot of time to regroup as the first round of the VIBL playoffs will start Saturday in a single-game elimination format.

“We need to throw strikes, block the ball and do the little things. If we don’t do that we’re in trouble,” Snyder said.

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