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Foothill League baseball: Power returns for Valencia

Vikings earn playoff spot with big bats early

Posted: May 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.

In Tuesday’s victory over Canyon, Valencia had to use a patient approach at the plate.

On Thursday, the Vikings used power — and were rewarded with a CIF-Southern Section Division I playoff spot.

Valencia beat Canyon 9-1 at Canyon High School to sweep the season series and clinch the third and final automatic playoff spot from the Foothill League by virtue of Hart’s loss to Golden Valley.

“We probably played one of the best second halves I’ve seen in a long time,” said Valencia head coach Jared Snyder, whose team won 10 of its final 12 games. “We gave ourselves an opportunity. I’m excited to see what we can do in the playoffs.”

The Vikings (19-8 overall, 10-5 Foothill League) jumped on Canyon starting pitcher Chris Serrano in the first inning. A.J. Balta hit a sacrifice fly to score Trey Williams, and Kyle Sanchez followed up with a three-run home run that also scored Keston Hiura and Brian Mundell.

Although Canyon scored its run in the bottom of the first, Valencia added to its lead in the second when Hiura doubled home Williams and later scored himself when Balta singled.

“We put some very good at-bats together, and we really capitalized,” Snyder said.

Valencia starter Connor Chase went five innings and gave up just five hits with two strikeouts. Chris Gimenez pitched the final two innings in relief and allowed a hit.

Williams wound up 1-for-3 with three runs and an RBI, while Balta had three RBIs. Hiura, Sanchez and Johnny Ives each had two hits.

Canyon’s Cole Mears scored his team’s lone run on an RBI single by Adam Evans, who finished 2-for-3. Serrano lasted 3 1/3 innings before giving way to Justin Stark, who went 2 2/3 and gave up one run on four hits.



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