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Canyon baseball surges to front of Foothill League

Cowboys off to its best start to league play since 2005

Posted: March 22, 2013 10:39 p.m.
Updated: March 22, 2013 10:39 p.m.

Canyon's Christopher Jenkins (2) scores as he beats the tag by Golden Valley pitcher John Mark Niednagel at Golden Valley High on Friday.

 

Canyon Cowboys head baseball coach Adam Schulhofer can’t be swayed away from his one-game-at-a-time thinking.

The Cowboys don’t want to get too far ahead of themselves, but they are off to their best start in the Foothill League since 2005. That’s when current Los Angeles Dodgers bullpen coach Chuck Crim was their head coach and Burbank and Burroughs were still in the Foothill League.

Canyon defeated the Golden Valley Grizzlies 8-1 on Friday at Golden Valley High.

“We’re not worried about that,” Schulhofer said about his team’s start. “We’re still trying to play our best baseball and not think about wins or doing other things.”

Canyon (8-1 overall, 3-1 Foothill League) got its second straight quality start from sophomore left-hander Blake Leidholdt, who pitched a complete-game, allowing seven hits and an unearned run, while striking out five.

The first-year varsity player is solidifying the No. 2 spot in the Canyon rotation.

“Absolutely,” Schulhofer said. “He’s been great pitching deep into games every time. He’s really reliable.”

The No. 2 spot coming into the season appeared to belong to varsity returner Chris Serrano, but he’s been one of Canyon’s most reliable bats.

On Friday, he got the offense going with a two-run, two-out single in the second inning.

Serrano was 3-for-3 in the game with two stolen bases and two runs.

Golden Valley (1-8, 0-4) cut the lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the second, but Canyon scored a run in the third and two more in the fourth to go up 5-1.

The Grizzlies had their chance to claw back into the game in the bottom of the fifth, loading the bases on Leidholdt.

He went to a full count on Lukas Granado, who has two home runs already in Foothill League play, then struck him out on what Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin said was a questionable call.

Yet that brings up another issue for the Grizzlies — the tally is now 43-6 against them in Foothill League play.

“We’re not hitting a lick,” Drootin said. “That’s one of the problems.”

Drootin said an issue is the players’ swings are too big.

Canyon, on the other hand, is checking its ego and shortening up — which Schulhofer said is a major reason why the Cowboys have scored 96 runs in 11 games this season.

The Cowboys finished off their scoring Friday with three runs in the sixth inning.

Canyon’s Max Weinstein was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Chris Jenkins was 2-for-3.

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