Entering Wednesday’s home game against Golden Valley, nearly an entire calendar year had passed since Canyon’s last Foothill League victory.
Canyon starting pitcher Matt Serrano went a long way to make sure the streak didn’t continue any longer.
The righty tossed a complete game, and the Cowboys scored just enough to beat the Golden Valley Grizzlies, 2-1, and earn their first Foothill League win of the season.
“I’m just happy we won a league game, finally,” Serrano said. “It’s been a long time.”
The win snaps a 13-game Foothill League losing streak that spanned 362 days.
“We’re improving every game. I see some good stuff happening with this bunch,” said Canyon coach Drew Peterson. “ It’s really exciting looking towards the future with these guys.”
Though the Cowboys (2-19 overall, 1-7 in Foothill) started four underclassmen, it was the senior Serrano on the mound that gave Canyon a chance to stop the skid.
Serrano allowed one unearned run and seven hits with six strikeouts over his seven innings of work.
“(Serrano) has been our guy all year, our innings-eater,” Peterson said. “For him to come out and throw the game he did, that was an impressive performance.”
With his pitch count at 85 and the new CIF pitch-count rule looming, Serrano needed two efficient innings to finish the outing.
The Grizzlies (6-12, 1-7) went down quietly on eight pitches in the sixth, giving Serrano some cushion from hitting the 110-pitch limit in the seventh.
“I knew I had a limited amount of pitches left, so I had to throw strikes and get ahead each time.” Serrano said.
Golden Valley threatened to tie the game in the seventh, as Bailey Martinez led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on Ben Scarcello’s sacrifice bunt.
Eddie Rodriguez followed by smacking a single to right, but he was caught in a pickle trying to extend his hit into extra bases.
While Rodriguez was dancing between first and second, Martinez broke for home, but a strong relay by Canyon nailed him at the plate for the second out of the inning.
Rodriguez ended up at third on the play, but Serrano struck out Dylan Rightmyer to end the threat and secure the win for Canyon.
“It was another one of those examples where we didn’t run the bases well and ran into too many mistakes,” said Golden Valley coach Steve Lombardi. “That cost us a few runs that we gave away because we were trying to force things.”
Along with picking up the win, Serrano finished 1-for-2 at the dish, including the game-winning RBI to score Aydyn Litz in the third. C.J. Dowell and Harold Boyce each went 1-for-3 for Canyon.
Rodriguez finished 3-for-4 with a run scored, while Leon Jackson reached base safely in each of his three plate appearances on three walks for Golden Valley.
The rubber match between the teams is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Friday at Golden Valley.