With the score tied in the bottom of the seventh inning, Luke Chung eagerly waited at third base. At home plate, Valencia baseball’s Mitchell Torres waited for a pitch.
He saw the pitch approach, then watched it drop low as the ball bounced off Oaks Christians’ catcher and rolled across the dirt.
“I just looked at it, saw him running from home and I knew it was over because the ball kicked away super far,” Torres said.
The next thing he saw was Chung running towards him, followed by the rest of his teammates as the Vikings picked up a 4-3 win on Wednesday in the CIF-Southern Section Division 1 wild card game at Valencia.
The Lions (13-14-1) had the momentum early, however, as they picked up a run in the third inning after Charles Masino reached first on a Vikings error.
Valencia (15-16) countered two innings later. Jake Biscailuz blasted a hit over the third base line and went straight over the left-field fence for a three-run home run.
“We had a whole bunch of runners early in the game and couldn’t get them in,” said coach Mike Killinger. “We were like, ‘Who’s going to do it, who’s going to be that guy?’ And then Biz was able to knock one out.”
In the following frame, Oaks Christians’ Ernest Adendorff hit an RBI double, then Charlie Adamson logged an RBI single to tie the game up at 3-3.
Starting Vikes pitcher Lukas White was pulled midway through the seventh inning after reaching pitch count in exchange for Nick Tanis, who limited the Lions for the remainder of the stanza.
Approaching the bottom of the inning, the message was clear among the Vikings:
“We all gathered up as a team and we said we were going to play seven more innings for our seniors and we just got really hyped,” Torres said.
Luke Chung started off the inning with a double, then White grounded out to move him to third. Biscailuz was intentionally walked and Valencia picked up their final run on a wild pitch during Torres’ at-bat.
The Vikings now move into the first round of the CIF-SS Division 1 tournament, where they’ll play No. 1-seeded Harvard Westlake.
“I think everyone was focused for this game because we always wanted to move farther than the last two years where we lost in the first round,” Biscailuz said. “I think it was a big win today and it gave us confidence for the Harvard Westlake game coming up.”