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Valencia baseball turns tide on West Ranch

Valencia comes back and beats W.R. with late rally

Posted: March 15, 2013 10:27 p.m.
Updated: March 15, 2013 10:27 p.m.

Valencia first baseman Devon Davis, left, catches a pop up on Friday at West Ranch High as the Vikings bench and Valencia catcher Anthony Lepre look on. Valencia won the game 8-5.

Trailing by two runs in the top of the sixth, the Valencia Vikings baseball team came back in the final two innings to capture an 8-5 victory Friday at West Ranch.

The Vikings never looked back after a four-run sixth inning put them in front for good.

“We did a great job in competing for seven innings and 27 outs,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder. “Their pitcher was carving us up for a while. We knew it was going to be a battle.”

West Ranch (4-3 Overall, 0-2 Foothill) starting pitcher Cody Bennett had the Valencia lineup on its heels through much of the game.

Through the first five innings, the returning All-Foothill first-teamer held Valencia to just two runs, one earned, while striking out seven.

“The first time through they didn’t really catch any of my off-speed or secondary pitches,” Bennett said.

Along with having its pitcher in control, the West Ranch bats were also effective early.

J.D. Krauskopf crushed a ball the opposite way in the first inning for a three-run home run to give West Ranch a 3-0 lead.

“We rode that big hit for a few innings,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “It gave us a lift and some confidence.”

Valencia (6-1 Overall, 2-0 Foothill) chipped into the lead by scoring two in the top of the fourth.

But West Ranch answered with a run of its own in the bottom half of the inning to push the lead up to 4-2.

With Bennett still on the mound in the sixth, Valencia exploded for four runs as it compiled five straight hits in the inning.

In the middle of the rally, Devon Davis delivered a two-run home run to score teammate Jared Oliva and give Valencia a 5-4 advantage.

“He got on a pitch that he thought was coming, and he got it,” Snyder said. “He’s been making the right adjustments later in the games. It’s not what you do in your first at-bat, but it’s what you do in the biggest one.”

Valencia led 6-4 after six.

“I started getting tired later in the game, but that’s no excuse,” Bennett said. “I left my pitches up a little bit. I needed to get them lower. I would do anything to have that inning back.”

Bennett finished by allowing five earned runs over six innings with no walks.

West Ranch first baseman Jordan Benty cut the score to 6-5 with a solo home run in the bottom of the sixth, but Valencia added two in the top of the seventh to set the final score.

“One of our big things is that you can’t be 2-0 until you’re 1-0,” Snyder said. “The game in front of you is the game you worry about. We’ll continue to take one game at a time.”

Valencia will be in action against Hart at home on Wednesday, while West Ranch plays at Golden Valley.

“It is so competitive that all these games can change on any given play, pitch, or defensive play,” Burrill said on the competitiveness and parity of the Foothill League this season.


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