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Foothill baseball: West Ranch stays in hunt

Wildcats sweep Canyon for second straight season

Posted: April 23, 2010 10:24 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2010 4:55 a.m.
A stellar outing by West Ranch starting pitcher Ryan Keller led to a 7-1 victory over Canyon for the Wildcats at West Ranch High Friday afternoon.

The game was tied 1-1 entering the bottom of the fourth inning when Canyon starting pitcher Thomas Kratky hit leadoff man Allen Sarkissian.

A double by John Heinz and singles by Dakota Hernandez and Randy Poe gave West Ranch a pair of runs and the 3-1 lead.

Jared Ortiz led off the fifth with a single for West Ranch and would later score on a sacrifice fly by Sarkissian. The Wildcats would pile on three more runs in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run home run by Nico Rusconi that just cleared the right-field wall.

"I felt real good. It was an all-round good day," Keller said. "I've been working really hard lately and coach called a great game. I flat out felt good today."

Keller threw all seven innings for a complete game win. He finished the game with six strikeouts while only allowing one earned run and five hits.

"Ryan Keller threw a great game for us today. He did a great job of getting ahead of hitters and had great command of a few different pitches," said Wildcats head coach Casey Burrill.

The loss was particularly disheartening for Canyon head coach Adam Schulhofer, whose team has now lost four straight and is still in search of its first league victory of the season. The Cowboys (4-15-1, 0-9) have managed to score only three runs in their last four games while allowing 29 in the same span.

"They broke it open when they had the chance and we scrapped with our guys on base, but we couldn't get them across," Schulhofer said. "You have to credit their hitters. They punched some hits together and put some runs across."

Riding a four-game winning streak and behind only one game to league-leading Valencia, West Ranch (14-6, 6-3) is still in the hunt for a league title.

"Five teams have a chance to win the league title and I think all five have the chance to miss the playoffs," Burrill said. "The next three weeks are going to be really exciting down to the end."


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