Valencia baseball overcomes Canyon surge for win

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Friday’s baseball game between Valencia and Canyon came down to who could get a break first.

Braving a chilly, wet day, the Vikings and the Cowboys found themselves tied after battling for five innings.

With bases loaded, two outs and a full count against a Viking batter, Canyon pitcher Jace Root just needed one more strike to end play. But it was the Vikings who got the break with a walk-off to take the lead and eventually win the game 8-4.

“We let a couple of plays get from under us and they were able to get some hits, but we still had time to respond and we did,” said Vikings coach Mike Killinger.

After going up 2-0, the Vikings (4-3 overall, 2-0 in Foothill League) saw their lead vanish in the second inning after Canyon sophomore Noah Blythe’s single helped the Cowboys tie the game at 2-2. Canyon extended its lead to 4-2 after a run from junior Charles Harrison.

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But the lead didn’t last long. Valencia was able to tie it back up after Valencia’s Mitchell Torres singled that allowed two runs.

Torres ended the game 3-for-4 with two RBIs.

Senior shortstop Luke Chung, who was key for the Vikings’ sixth-inning run, went 3-for-4 at bat and a double. Chung also scored in the seventh.

“We just stayed calm and within ourselves,” Chung said about the team’s play late in the game. “We just started playing our ball.”

Canyon (5-4, 1-1) had chances to get back in the game, but was unable to convert hits into scores. Cowboys coach Drew Peterson also said he felt his team was put in a pitching squeeze at times in the game, particularly the walk-off pitch that gave Valencia the lead.

“We had opportunities to tack on some runs there,” Peterson said. “I felt we let that game get away from us.”

Peterson did, however, like how his team responded after going down 2-0.

“We could see early we had some chances,” Peterson said. “We just had to be patient at the plate and capitalize on their mistakes.”

Cowboys senior Harold Boyce and junior Conrad Meza both finished the game 1-for-3 at bat with one RBI and one run each.

The Cowboys will travel to West Ranch next week for more league action.

“We’ll be working on a lot of defense,” Peterson said after the game. “We need to get back to basics and play some fundamental ball.”

Valencia’s next league game will be at Golden Valley.

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