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Valencia baseball cools off West Ranch

J.D. Busfield’s tosses three-hit shutout

Posted: April 17, 2013 9:53 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2013 9:53 p.m.

Valencia pitcher J.D. Busfield delivers against West Ranch on Wednesday at Valencia High. The senior pitched a complete-game shutout, allowing three hits and zero walks while striking out seven in Valencia's 6-0 win.

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J.D. Busfield just put Valencia Vikings baseball back in first place.

In what his coach called the best pitched high school game he’s seen in 15 years, Busfield shut down the red-hot lineup of the West Ranch Wildcats in a complete-game, three-hit shutout as Valencia won 6-0 on Wednesday at Valencia High.

West Ranch came into the day atop the Foothill League standings after scoring a total of 24 runs last week in two wins over Canyon.

Those bats went silent against Valencia’s senior ace, who struck out seven, walked zero and got ahead in the count against just about every hitter he faced.

“That’s always my approach,” Busfield said. “I always try to throw first-pitch strikes. I can do a lot of things when I do.”

Busfield started off with strikes against 23 of 25 batters he faced and he consistently painted the corners, throwing 76 strikes in 97 pitches.

“It wouldn’t have mattered if they scored one or 30 runs today the way he was pitching,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill, whose team saw a five-game league win streak come to an end.

With Tuesday’s result, Valencia (13-7 overall, 5-3 Foothill League) and West Ranch (11-7, 5-3) are now tied for first place in Foothill along with Saugus and Canyon.

Valencia, which also beat West Ranch 8-5 on March 15, also clinched the season series victory over the Wildcats.

“They’re one of our biggest rivals,” Busfield said of West Ranch. “It feels good because we won as a team. Every one of us had a part in it.”

The Vikings’ run support came in the third inning when junior Chad Bible drove in a pair of runs on a single hit back up the middle off West Ranch starter Jake Bird. The hit scored Chris McCready and A.J. Balta, who started the inning with an infield single and a walk, respectively.

Valencia led 2-0.

“We finally executed. We finally executed in situations,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

Bible capped off a 2-for-2, three-RBI day with a first-pitch solo home run to left field in the fifth inning.

On the very next pitch delivered by West Ranch’s Jordan Benty, Anthony Lepre belted a homer to nearly the same spot to extend Valencia’s lead to 4-0.

McCready finished off the scoring with a two-RBI single in the sixth.

It was a big bounce-back game for the Vikings, who were coming off a 4-2 upset loss to Golden Valley on Friday.

“I think we were a lot more focused, a lot more locked in,” Snyder said. “And I think (we) were prepared.”

 

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