Last summer, Valencia baseball’s Nick Tanis was in a similar situation to the one he was in during the Vikings’ 5-4 summer league win over Bishop Alemany High of Mission Hills.
He played with the varsity players over the summer with hopes of a spot among them in the 2017 spring batting lineup.
But Tanis ended up on the junior varsity squad because the coaching staff thought he’d get more experience that way.
The experience paid off, as Tanis kicked off Wednesday’s scoring in the second inning at Valencia with a two-run double that was almost a triple, had he not been out at third.
“We knew that he was going to be needed this year,” said Vikings coach Mike Killinger. “If he was on varsity, he would have limited at-bats so it was much better (to play JV), and we’ve seen he has the ability to hit and pitch, so it’s a nice little thing to have.”
Alemany chalked up a run in the fourth inning, then Valencia added three more in the bottom of the frame, scoring on a Jake Biscailuz sacrifice fly and tacking on two more runs off a Bobby Orr groundout and an Alemany error.
The Warriors scored twice more, but the Valencia defense stopped the offense there.
“As everybody knows, we have a lot of guys to replace from last year and it was good just to see there’s a lot of (good) young guys,” Killinger said. “It’s just fun to see what they’re able to do.”
Tanis was one of five pitchers to take the mound. Lukas White started, followed by Mitchell Torres, Tanis, DJ Sare and Sam Stulman, a transfer from Albert Einstein Academy. Each recorded one strikeout.
Twelve players total have their eye on a pitching position with the Vikings.
“Right now our pitching is basically a bunch of guys that got moved up and then some new guys that come in,” Tanis said. “So right now it’s just figuring out what we can do as a team.”