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VIBL: Struggling bats

Canyon suffers from lack of offense in VIBL regular-season finale loss

Posted: July 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: July 20, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Canyon's Tyler Ryan, right, scores a run in the sixth inning as Kennedy catcher Chris Sandberg attempts to tag him out on Thursday at Canyon High School.

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Offense has been a struggle for the Canyon High baseball team this summer, and Thursday afternoon’s Valley Invitational Baseball League regular-season finale against Kennedy High was no different.

The Cowboys managed just two runs off the Cougars, who came alive in the middle innings to defeat Canyon 8-2 at Canyon High School.

“We’ll live and die with our bats,” said assistant coach Kirt Mears, who was in place of the team’s VIBL head coach A.J. Meneou. “It’s the story of Canyon. We’ve just got to get these guys believing in themselves. They’re playing too tentative.”

The loss dropped Canyon to 3-9 in the summer league, while Kennedy finished the VIBL season 4-10.

Both teams will advance to Saturday’s playoffs.

On Thursday, a familiar face gave the Cowboys an early 1-0 lead, when Chris Serrano’s first-inning RBI put Canyon ahead.

But the Cougars jumped on Canyon starting pitcher Jarrett Ellis in the third inning, scoring two runs off the junior, who threw three innings with four strikeouts and two runs allowed.

Things continued to spiral from there.

Blake Leidholdt relieved Ellis in the fourth, going three innings and allowing five runs.

Kennedy’s Anthony Rios scored on a suicide squeeze by Alex Carbajal in the fourth inning to put the Cougars ahead 3-1.

They tacked on another run in the fifth on an RBI groundout from Chris Lincoln, and two more in the sixth.

The Cougars scored again in the seventh, while Canyon tacked on a run in the bottom half on a wild pitch from Kennedy’s Jon Guerrero.

The slow start has been a consistent theme for Kennedy throughout the summer, said head coach Marcus Alvarado.

“Maybe cause they’re so young, they don’t know when to turn it on and off, and in varsity you can’t do that.”

As for Canyon, the summer may not have been the most successful in terms of wins and losses, but the Cowboys believe they’ll be fine once the high school season begins.

“We had our peaks and valleys. We’ve got to get used to our new team, we lost a lot of guys,” said Serrano, referring to the 10 seniors lost to graduation off last season’s squad. “As soon as we get our team chemistry, we’ll be fine.”

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