West Ranch High baseball entered its first Foothill League game of the season with the goal of starting the regular season stronger than it had last year.
With a 13-3 win over Golden Valley High at Golden Valley on Friday, it seems as though the Wildcats are on track for just that.
“Everyone just wants to do their part and contribute and just not try to do too much and play our brand of baseball,” said Wildcats shortstop Nico Valdez.
Although both coaches insisted that the game was closer than the scoreboard let on, one thing that wasn’t up for debate was Valdez’s performance at the plate, as he tallied four RBIs on the afternoon.
“He’s our best defender and our best shortstop, our best fielder, always kind of being that guy and today he was real offensive,” said coach Casey Burrill. “He’s a senior that we’re going to depend on all year long and today he had a really good game.”
Valdez hit an RBI double in the fifth inning that was part of a five-run effort by the Wildcats (5-3 overall, 1-0 in Foothill League).
Valdez had another RBI single in the sixth inning, then had a two-run double in the seventh. That final frame featured another five-run performance from West Ranch.
“It’s something we are still scratching our heads about, and I’m still trying to figure out what happens to us to allow a big inning,” said Grizzlies coach Steve Lombardi. “We just can’t give up the big inning like we did.”
Golden Valley (3-3, 0-1) put up three runs in the sixth inning, while West Ranch had two.
Wildcats pitcher Timmy Josten, who pitched six innings and struck out nine before Bryan Delgado came in, stepped up at the right time to get the Cats rolling again.
“Timmy just brings that consistency of pounding the zone,” Valdez said. “We can always rely on Timmy to go out and compete for us and we build off the energy that he gives us.”