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’Cats bats sizzle again

Sarkissian, Watkins lead way against Grizzlies

Posted: April 22, 2009 10:14 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2009 10:12 p.m.
Seven Foothill League games still remain on the schedule, and yet the West Ranch High baseball team has already won more league games than it ever has in program history.

That’s the kind of breakout season the Wildcats are currently having.

And it got even better on Wednesday with a 17-2 home win over Golden Valley, the team’s seventh win in a row, which keeps the Wildcats in first place in the Foothill League.

“We’re past the halfway point, and we’re still in first,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “We’re very happy about that, no doubt about it. We can score runs.”

During the winning streak, West Ranch (15-3, 7-1) has averaged 15 runs per game.

The combo of Allen Sarkissian and Casey Watkins played a big role in keeping it going.

Sarkissian went 4-for-4 with four RBIs and a walk. Watkins, hitting one spot later in the lineup, went 4-for-5 with six RBIs, including a two-run home run in the fourth inning.

“I just feel like nobody can get me out right about now,” Watkins said.

It’s a feeling that is apparently contagious. West Ranch scored three runs each in the first and second innings, another pair on Watkins’ home run in the fourth, and then exploded for nine more runs in the sixth inning against four different Golden Valley pitchers.

The Grizzlies (7-10, 2-6) issued six walks and gave up four hits in the inning.

“Our whole lineup, one through nine, is outstanding,” Sarkissian said. “Everyone can hit on this team. Everyone is out their driving in runs. It’s fun being on a team like that.”

Added Watkins: “All that extra batting practice we take is paying off,
big time.”

The offense backed up a solid performance on the mound by West Ranch starting pitcher Trevor Fredrickson, who struck out nine and gave up two runs in five innings of work.

Fredrickson, who is now West Ranch’s single-season strikeout record-holder with 61 and counting, got into trouble in the third inning, allowing the first five Golden Valley batters to reach base.

But he then proceeded to record eight consecutive outs, six of them on strikeouts.

Golden Valley’s runs came on singles by Kamran Young and Brandon Kaufman.

“Trevor didn’t have his best stuff today,” Burrill said. “But he had a really strong finish.”

Golden Valley starting pitcher Nicholas Rhoades lasted just 2 1/3 innings, giving up six runs on six hits.
He was followed by Josh Smith, Phil Anderson, Chris Smith and Brandon Smith, none of whom had any more luck against a West Ranch lineup that beat the Grizzlies 22-2 in the previous matchup of the teams, on April 3 at Golden Valley.

West Ranch will go for the series sweep at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Golden Valley.


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