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Vikes get the full seven again

Posted: April 5, 2008 2:27 a.m.
Updated: June 6, 2008 5:02 a.m.
Valencia's Robbie Mouselli kept an incredible streak going Friday at Canyon High.

He reached base for the ninth consecutive plate appearance with a single in the first inning.

Wait, wrong streak.

Mouselli lost that one with a ground out in the third inning, but the more important one was Valencia receiving a fourth straight complete game - two of which being his.

The senior pitcher bobbed and weaved through trouble late, relying on a steady diet of off-speed pitches to help the Vikings sweep Canyon on the season with a 5-2 victory.

"I'm very confident in my two guys," said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder of Mouselli and co-ace Josh Corrales.

"They want the ball."

It couldn't be more evident for Mouselli than in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Mouselli faced a bases-loaded jam with Canyon varsity veteran Sammy Sarmiento at the plate.

With Corrales playing third base and having warmed up in the bullpen in between innings, Snyder went to the mound.

"Josh, get your glove," Mouselli recalled Snyder saying. "I was like, 'No.'"

Corrales also told Snyder it was Mouselli's game.

Mouselli quickly got ahead, then induced a chop grounder to Corrales, who stepped on third base to get the final out of the game.

Mouselli struck out eight batters, allowed seven hits, walked one and hit a batter.

He and Corrales have combined in the last four games to surrender five runs in 28 innings - a 1.25 ERA.

Corrales actually made the biggest play of the game.

With Valencia (10-3, 7-0) up 3-0 in the fifth, Mouselli found trouble.

He surrendered an RBI single to Kyle Pressman, then loaded the bases.

Mouselli walked Shawn Miller to bring in a run and make it Valencia 3-2.

Canyon's Robert Wright followed and lined a pitch to Corrales at third.

Corrales stabbed the ball for one out, then dove to tag third base and double-up Pressman and end the inning.

"Corrales saved the ball game for them right there," said Canyon head coach Brandon Montemayor.

But the play was indicative of many Canyon at-bats Friday.

Though it was hit hard, it was the first of four Canyon official at-bats that failed to score a runner from scoring position.

It happened in the sixth, then again in the seventh.

Credit has to go to Mouselli for making an adjustment, as the senior identified that the Cowboys (4-9-1, 1-6) were able to hit his fastball so he went to more off-speed stuff later.

But Montemayor's frustration with his offense was evident after the game.

It was the second straight game against Valencia that his starting pitcher kept him in the game.

Austin Engel went six innings, allowing seven hits and striking out three, but gave the Cowboys a chance.

He allowed a run on a Kyle Eaton sacrifice fly in the second inning and allowed Taylor Dingman to knock in a run in the fourth on a double.

But his defense let him down in the third as Valencia's Christian Lopes scored on a throwing error.

Then Canyon couldn't break the game open late.

"Austin pitched great. He battled. Austin did what Austin does," Montemayor said. "At some point in the season, the offense has to pick him up."

It ultimately couldn't Friday.

Valencia padded its lead in the top of the seventh when Lopes led off the inning with a home run that hopped onto Nadal Street behind the fence in right-center field and into an apartment complex.

It ended Engel's day.

Alex Pittman later knocked an RBI single off reliever Garrett Hayes to give the Vikings a 5-2 lead.

Valencia's complete-game streak will likely come to an end, though, as the Vikings play Dana Hills today with neither Mouselli nor Corrales starting.

The Vikings have another streak they're trying to keep alive today.

Dylan Jones has reached base in seven consecutive plate appearances.


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