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Valencia can't handle Harvard-Westlake in Division I playoffs

Posted: May 16, 2013 10:29 p.m.
Updated: May 16, 2013 10:29 p.m.


After facing one of the best high school baseball teams in the nation, Valencia Vikings head coach Jared Snyder spelled it out in no uncertain terms.

“They’re that good,” Snyder said.

His Vikings lost 7-1 to the Harvard-Westlake Wolverines, Baseball America’s No. 2 ranked team in the country, in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs on Thursday at Harvard-Westlake.

Snyder continued his thought, “We had a chance in the first and unfortunately, just every call, every break went (Harvard-Westlake’s) way. It was just everything.”

Valencia had a good chance, Snyder said, when Chris McCready led the game off with a single, but the threat was ended when Keston Huira failed to get down a sacrifice bunt and McCready was picked off at first.

Snyder argued the call to no avail.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Division I No. 3 seed Wolverines (24-4) took control when Alex Horowitz belted a three-run home run off Vikings starter Luke Soroko to take a 3-0 lead.

Soroko got the start after Valencia ace J.D. Busfield pitched in Tuesday’s wild-card playoff win over Westlake on Tuesday.

Once Harvard-Westlake took the lead, ace Jack Flaherty, a University of North Carolina commit, took care of the rest. Flaherty pitched the entire game and allowed the one earned run off four hits while striking out nine.

The Vikings (17-12) had faced Harvard-Westlake once before this season, losing 1-0 on March 2 after Flaherty tossed a no hitter.

This time, Valencia hitters battled the right-hander and managed to score on Devon Davis’ solo home run in the fifth inning.

“We hit the ball in play more than we did last time (against Harvard-Westlake), but teams are just good. What are you going to do?” Snyder said.

The Wolverines piled on three more runs in the fourth and added a final run in the fifth to set the final score.

Soroko pitched four innings and allowed six runs, five earned, off five hits. He also struck out three.

“They’re ranked third in CIF (Southern Section Division I) for a reason,” Snyder said. “They executed well. They only had six hits, but we needed to play a perfect game. And we didn’t.”



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