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Valencia baseball keeps title hopes alive with win over Canyon

Posted: May 7, 2013 10:17 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2013 10:17 p.m.

Valencia first baseman Kyle Sanchez (8) makes the stop and the final out of the game against Canyon on Tuesday at Canyon High School. The Vikings won 4-0 to keep their Foothill League title hopes alive.


With all the anticipation of Canyon possibly winning its first Foothill League title since 2002, something was lost in the equation.

Valencia could still win it, too.

And behind the sterling pitching of J.D. Busfield and the Vikings defense on Tuesday in Valencia’s 4-0 win over Canyon at Canyon High, Valencia is in that position heading into Thursday’s regular season finale.

Now it needs to beat Canyon (17-9 overall, 9-5 Foothill League) and it needs West Ranch (9-5 Foothill League) to lose Thursday.

That would create a three-way tie for the Foothill League title.

“Our goal was to win two against Canyon. ... We still feel like we can win a championship,” Busfield said.

Busfield pitched a complete-game, two-hit shutout, striking out four batters and walking just one.

Canyon’s only significant threat came in the fourth inning after Valencia second baseman Colton Burns made a leaping grab for the first out and Kyle Sanchez made a diving stab at first base to get the second out.

Busfield walked Cole Mears then gave up a single to Chris Serrano.

On a full count, he then struck Vincent Fitzgerald out looking.

Busfield relied on a four-pitch mix on Tuesday, but used his fastball to get ahead of batters all game long. Those set up an effective slider that Canyon batters couldn’t do much with.

Cowboys starting pitcher Jon Dicey kept his team in the game, limiting the Vikings (16-10, 8-6) to single runs in the first, third, fifth and seventh innings.

Valencia got on the board in the first with a Sanchez single.

Chris McCready hit a solo home run in the third and another run came across on a fielder’s choice in the fifth.

Sanchez’s seventh inning single put Valencia up 4-0.

He was 2-for-4 on the day with three RBIs.

This all sets up Thursday’s game at Valencia High — a game that carries a ton of weight.

“We better be ready to go on Thursday,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder.

Valencia needs Saugus to beat West Ranch on Thursday.

Canyon, which had not been shut out all season long, needs a win to earn what was considered an improbable Foothill title at the beginning of the season.

“Fitting end to our season,” said Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer. “Every win has been hard-fought. Not too much has been easy.”

Canyon will have its ace Max Weinstein going in what is the program’s biggest game since 2002 — the last time Canyon not only won a league title, but the last time any Foothill League team appeared in a CIF championship game.

The Cowboys lost in the Division II final that year to Villa Park.



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