Pitching a complete game, giving up two runs on six hits and striking out 13, senior Sam Stulman stole the show against Golden Valley Friday afternoon.
“I felt pretty dominant,” Stulman said about his outing. “We were producing runs offensively, so I felt I needed to pitch dominant against (Golden Valley) because they were helping me out so I’m going to help them out also.”
Winning 9-2, the Vikings jumped out to an early 2-0 lead after Lukas White brought in Luke Chung from third base on an RBI double for the game’s first run. White later scored in the inning on a throwing error by Golden Valley.
Broadwater later made up for the mistake bringing in the Grizzlies first run of the game on and RBI single in the bottom of the first. At the end of one, Valencia led 2-1.
After a triple from Bailey Martinez to lead off the second inning, Golden Valley (8-15 overall, 0-11 in Foothill League) tied it up at two behind Dylan Daszek’s sacrifice RBI, bringing in Martinez from third.
That’s when Stulman began to shut the Grizzlies’ hitters down, allowing two hits the rest of the game.
“This is a game of forgiveness so I just shoved it off,” Stulman said about giving up the two early runs. “I was like, ‘You know what, it starts next inning, this is where I start to dominate and really just focus on myself and not worry about anything else.’”
Playing off of Stulman’s lead, the Valencia (11-14, 7-4) bats came alive, scoring six runs in the top of the third. Mitchell Torres, Owen Strader, Davis Cop and Luke Chung all had RBIs in the inning.
What made things worse were the two RBI balks by the Grizzlies’. When the dust had settled, six runs had crossed the plate and Valencia led 8-2 heading into the bottom of the third.
“We have had moments this season where we have struggled,” said Valencia head coach Mike Killinger about the big third inning. “Things are looking pretty good right now a lot of guys are taking good at-bats. We have tried some different guys at different positions and I think we are stringing some things together.”
Scoring one more run in the fourth inning on a sacrifice RBI by Grant Weiss, the Vikings led 9-2 after five frames.
In the top of the sixth, Golden Valley head coach Matt Sorensen opted to bring in reliever Bailey Martinez to pitch for Colon. In the two innings he pitched and finishing the game, Martinez did not allow a runner to get on base as he struck out two of the six batters he faced.
“He’s huge,” Sorensen said about Martinez. “He is one of our top two pitchers and he has flashes of that where he can come out and dominate a team. Obviously, he did that today so he’s capable of doing it and just being more consistent and sustaining that effort, it makes it a lot easier for our players.”
Unfortunately, the Grizzlies still had to score some runs, but with the type of night that Stulman was having, it wasn’t likely.
After hitting the first batter of the inning in the Grizzlies’ last at-bat, Stulman struck out the final three batters to end the game with 13 strikeouts.
Valencia will face off against Grace Brethren at home Saturday at 11 a.m for their final non-league game.
Golden Valley has the weekend off preparing for their matchup against Saugus at Saugus on Wednesday.
West Ranch 11, Canyon 3
The Wildcats didn’t make thing easy for themselves, giving up three early runs in the second inning against the Cowboys Friday afternoon.
“We had a rough inning, said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “Giving up those three runs to go with the four errors was tough, but Cade (Nicol) battled through the inning not giving up any earned runs.”
Down one run, 3-2, West Ranch (10-4 overall, 8-3 in Foothill League) scored two runs in the bottom of the third to go up, 4-3 over the Cowboys.
Scoring another six runs in the fourth, topped off by Christos Stefanos’ three-run homer, the Wildcats exploded in the inning to go up 10-3.
“It was the biggest hit of the game for us because it was a close ball game,” Burrill said about Stefanos’ home run. “He took a good pitch on the outside of the plate and made a really good swing.”
Canyon’s Charles Harrison went 2-for-3 at the plate with one RBI and a walk, while Cebastian Arriaga and Steven Cornell both went 1-for-4 with a run each.
The Wildcats will host Valencia next on Wednesday, while the Cowboys (12-11, 4-7) will face off against Hart at Hart the same day.