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Golden Valley gets first league win with victory over Valencia

Posted: April 12, 2013 8:35 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2013 8:35 p.m.

Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin congratulates pitcher Josh Baldacci after the Grizzlies' 4-2 win over Valencia on Friday at Valencia High School. Baldacci picked up the complete-game victory, allowing just one earned run on seven hits. (Jonathan Pobre/The Signal)

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One search ended Friday. Another began.

A previously downtrodden Golden Valley Grizzlies baseball team shocked the Valencia Vikings at Valencia High on Friday and found its first Foothill League win of the season 4-2.

In the process, the Grizzlies (2-16 overall, 1-6 Foothill League) knocked Valencia (12-7, 4-3) out of a first-place tie in the Foothill League.

“I told the guys somebody had to win the game. It might as well be us,” said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin.

Golden Valley starting pitcher Josh Baldacci was three outs from a complete-game victory in the bottom of the seventh inning, but he had to get through Valencia’s 1-3 hitters one more time.

He retired them in order.

“If we were to go to the 25th inning I would have put him in there,” said Drootin about the prospect of pulling Baldacci after the sixth. “He was incredible. He never bent, never cracked and got better as he went.”

Baldacci allowed two runs (one earned) on seven hits, relying heavily on his fastball, which he located to both sides of the plate.

Valencia starter Luke Soroko matched Baldacci almost pitch-for-pitch early on, as neither team scored through three innings.

Golden Valley scored two runs in the fourth. The first when Soroko balked with a runner at third. The second when Julian Brentley singled to right and the throw home went through catcher Anthony Lepre’s legs, allowing Lukas Granado, who’d been held at third to score.

Valencia answered with two runs in the bottom of the fourth.

A.J. Balta knocked in Chad Bible with a double, and Hunter Holland hit a sacrifice fly.

Soroko retired the first two hitters in the fifth, but allowed back-to-back singles before Valencia head coach Jared Snyder removed him for Quentin Daniels. Daniels walked a batter to load the bases before a fielding error by shortstop Keston Hiura allowed two runs to score.

“We have been striking out a little bit (lately). If they are going to get outs, they are going to have to get us out. Our job was to make them make a mistake, not us,” Drootin said on what he told his team prior to the game.

Baldacci got Chris McCready to ground out with runners at second and third to end the sixth inning before retiring the top of Valencia’s order in the seventh.

“I was feeling pretty confident because I knew my defense was going to back me up,” Baldacci said. “I was excited to go out there for the seventh and finish it.”

The Grizzlies doubled their win total for the season on Tuesday.

The Vikings, however, are searching for answers.

“I’m at a loss for words for what has happened,” Snyder said. “We started 7-1 and we’re 5-6 since. Obviously we’re struggling in a lot of different ways. At the end of next week we could be in really good shape or we could really be searching for a way to make the playoffs this year.”


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