West Ranch baseball’s Nico Valdez had to be patient in his first at-bat on Thursday.
Strike. Ball. Ball. Home run.
Valdez set the tone for the Wildcats, who took down Golden Valley 12-2 at Golden Valley.
The two-run homer produced the only runs of the first inning for either team and was the foundation for the rest of the game’s offensive action.
“We had some offense early,” said West Ranch coach Casey Burrill. “And it’s kind of contagious. We had a lot of guys that were offensive today. It was a big first inning.”
The Wildcats (14-5 overall, 7-0 in Foothill League) scored four more runs in the third inning.
Will Chambers hit a two-run double to open up the scoring in the frame. Not to be outdone, Ryan Camacho homered to pull the Cats ahead 6-0.
West Ranch’s Christos Stefanos hit a two-run single for West Ranch in the fourth inning, then Evan Gellatly hit a sacrifice fly for a run in the fifth.
Stefanos hit an RBI-single in the fifth, followed by RBI singles from Chris Freeman and Ryan Camacho.
Stefanos finished the day 4-for-4 with three RBIs.
“He’s been our best run producer over the past few weeks,” Burrill said. “He’s a guy that comes to the plate, sees all kinds of different pitches and has been real successful. He’s been kind of our go-to guy and producing for us.”
Tristan Lacefield was the top performer for the Grizzlies (6-11, 1-6) with a two-run double in the fifth inning.
Cats Pitcher Timmy Josten allowed three hits and struck out four in five innings.
“With the offense clicking early, Timmy kept them off the scoreboard for four innings,” Burrill said. “It made the game open up. Both teams using a lot of subs, it had the feeling early in the game that it was over.”
Golden Valley is on the road against Canyon on Wednesday. On the same day, West Ranch takes on Hart, which snapped its four-game losing streak after defeating Valencia on Thursday.
Saugus 9, Canyon 2
JP Flores, JC Choy, Tony Jacob, Kyle Dawson and Michael Frazier each had two hits for the Centurions (8-14, 4-3). Frazier had a three-run home run.
Saugus pitcher Garett Lite allowed two runs in the first four innings, and Brandyn Cruz threw three perfect innings for the save.
For Canyon (1-19, 0-7), CJ Dowell and Nick Jenkins each had two hits.