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Prep baseball: G.V. goes on a tear

Grizzlies headed to tournament semifinals

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

Coming off a disappointing 2012 season, Golden Valley baseball has found its groove as it moves on to play in the American Legion District Six semifinals at UCLA.

The Grizzlies went into the legion summer playoffs with a 13-1-1 record and won two out of three postseason games over the weekend, defeating Paraclete twice to advance to the semis.

Golden Valley opted out of playing with the other Foothill League teams in the Valley Invitational Baseball League summer tournament and hasn’t looked back.

The team has found a way to keep winning without its star player Billy Frederick, who is playing the summer out with his Connie Mack travel team in pursuit of a state championship.

Instead, Billy’s brother Bobby Frederick has filled in nicely, hitting four doubles with six RBIs in the two playoff wins.

“We are learning what it takes to win and how it feels,” said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin.

Multiple players have stepped up at different positions over the summer and the Grizzly offense has come alive with 12 home runs in 15 league games.

This home run total is more than the last two years combined.

Ryan Mahotz has led the offense, batting .508 with four home runs and 29 RBIs in 15 summer games.

Lukas Granado has also been a nice piece in the lineup as he is batting .471 with one home run and 21 RBIs.

The pitching has been stellar for the Grizzlies as Josh Baldacci has a 4-0 record, striking out 36 batters, and Nick Tejeda is 5-1 with 37 strikeouts.

Bryce Shea leads the team with five saves.

The biggest surprise for Golden Valley’s club has been catcher Cody Rightmeyer’s play behind the plate.

He has thrown out 60 percent of would-be base stealers, while also batting over .500 for the summer.

Josh Lampariello has also anchored the defense with his solid glove, while hitting over .400 in the second half of the season.

The Grizzlies have started the summer only losing three players from last season’s roster, but are missing five other players due to summer obligations.

The team has a different mindset going into the 2012 season.

“We won’t back down from anyone and we will keep playing aggressive,” Drootin said. “We are committed to do something special and turning the program around.”

Golden Valley must win its next three games to advance to the California State Championship in Napa Valley next week.

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