The Valencia baseball roster is loaded with sophomores. A young roster can either spell disaster or potential for a team and in the Vikings’ case, it’s the latter.
Sophomore pitcher Ryan Kysar defended Valencia’s lead, giving up just one hit in 1 1/3 innings of work, en route to the Vikes’ 3-2 win over West Ranch on Wednesday at West Ranch.
“We figured today was a game that we had to win this game to give us a shot moving forward and we knew we were going to be able to use him if we needed to,” Valencia coach Mike Killinger said of Kysar.
Kysar was just part of a game that featured a variety of solid performances on the mound. Valencia’s Lukas White (six hits, four K’s in 5 2/3 innings), West Ranch’s Trent Bird (three hits, four K’s in five innings) and fellow Wildcat Alex Burge (no hits, one K in two innings) were each a factor in the final five, scoreless innings.
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“After three innings I thought it was going to be a slug fest,” West Ranch coach Casey Burrill said. “Balls were being hit on both sides really hard and a lot of runs were being scored and then it just stopped.
“The pitchers took over the game and there wasn’t a whole lot of chances to score on either side for the remainder of the game.”
Valencia (13-14 overall, 8-4 in Foothill League) was the first to score in the game’s brief offensive stint. A double from White put runners on second and third, and a sacrifice groundout from Jake Biscailuz drove in a run to make it 1-0 in the first inning.
White crossed home plate on a West Ranch error to tack on one more run in the frame and Kyle Barileau hit a sacrifice fly to score Owen Strader in the second inning for a 3-0 lead.
West Ranch (16-9, 8-4) scored its only two runs in the second, starting with an RBI double from Justin Bumgarner. Nicholas Perez hit a sacrifice fly to bring the score to 3-2 before the Vikes ended the stanza with a double-play.
“We were just looking for hard swings from them and just get them off speed, but today it was just all over the place,” Kysar said. “They only got two runs against us and that’s pretty good for us.”
Valencia’s win ties them for second place in the Foothill League with West Ranch and ties the season series between the two at 1-1.
They meet again on Friday at Valencia at 3:30.
“Both teams have won a game, we’re tied in the standings and in typical West Ranch/Valencia fashion, it will come down to the last game of the year,” Burrill said.