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Foothill baseball: GV Strikes Twice

Grizzlies upset West Ranch for the second game in a row

Posted: April 16, 2010 11:01 p.m.
Updated: April 17, 2010 4:55 a.m.
Coming off its biggest win in program history, the Golden Valley baseball team wanted to prove that defeating West Ranch wasn't a fluke.

On Friday, the Grizzlies did just that.

Golden Valley defeated West Ranch 5-4 at the Wildcats home field with solid defense and an impressive pitching performance by junior right-hander Josh Smith.

"We knew everybody would think it was a fluke and we were hoping to prove it wasn't," said Golden Valley head coach Scott Drootin. "We knew we could win a close game."

Smith, who threw a complete game in just his second game back after straining his arm, struck out West Ranch's cleanup batter Josh Heinz with the tying run on first to give the Grizzlies the win.

"I just wanted to see if I could get some pitches by him or get him to ground out," Smith said.

Finishing the game with three strikeouts, while giving up six hits, Smith said the win gives his team confidence.

"Everybody's always looking down on us and expecting us to lose," he said.

West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill credited Golden Valley's pitching and defense.

"They had a good pitching performance today," he said. "He kept our hitters off balance. They also made some great defensive plays today."

Golden Valley (8-9, 3-4) got on the scoreboard early, scoring three runs in the first inning, fueled by a lead-off double by Billy Fredrick.

The left fielder also contributed a big defensive play in the seventh inning, when he made a diving catch in foul territory.

"I didn't want it to drop because we needed the out and I just ran as hard as I could," Fredrick said. "I stretched out and it went in."

West Ranch (10-6, 4-3) scored in the second inning on an RBI single by Hunter Hernandez, then went ahead 4-3 in the fourth inning. Golden Valley was able to battle back and scored two runs in the fifth, one when a passed ball allowed Riley Sherwood to score and another when Kamran Young hit an RBI single to plate Fredrick.

West Ranch junior pitcher Ryan Keller struck out three and gave up five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
Drootin liked the way his team kept fighting in the close game.
"It's nice to play good baseball," Drootin said. "My kids have worked hard and they deserve this."

With league play just short of the halfway point, Burrill is optimistic about his team.

"We still have eight league games to go," Burrill said. "We need to come together and put together a better performance."

West Ranch will next travel to Burbank for a double-header with Burroughs today.

Golden Valley will play at Valencia on Wednesday.


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