By Jason Greenwald
For The Signal
Canyon boys baseball overcame a sluggish start Friday to beat Golden Valley 10-6 in an offensive showcase.
The Cowboys (8-13 overall, 4-7 in Foothill League) got one run in the top of the first inning from sophomore designated hitter Justin Powell, who hit a triple to the left field wall. Powell brought in junior centerfielder Noah Blythe for a 1-0 lead.
Junior shortstop Joshua Lee got it going for the Grizzlies (6-19, 1-10) in the bottom of the first, smashing a bullet to right field, bringing home senior center fielder Dylan Daszek to tie the score at 1-1. Senior first baseman Steven Moreno brought in two more runs from hard-hit double advancing the score to 3-1.
The Grizzlies answered again in the bottom of the second inning from Lee, who slipped a single between Canyon’s third baseman and shortstop to bring home senior pitcher Bryson James, pushing a 4-1 lead.
Cowboys junior pitcher Jace Root went three innings, striking out three before being pulled. Junior pitcher Jacob Melville came in for relief.
“The first three innings were the worst baseball we’ve played all year,” said Canyon head coach Justin Stark. “Something happened in the dugout that kind of helped us put things back together and on track. We had a better approach moving forward.”
With a three-run deficit and one out in the third, Canyon’s plate approach became more aggressive against James, who was pitching a quality game.
Senior second baseman Charles Harrison swatted the baseball deep into left field, bringing in Blythe and helping Canyon claw back into the game, making it 4-2.
The Cowboys responded again in the top of the fourth inning behind junior catcher Tyler DeYoung, who hit a single to bring in two more runs and tied the score at 4-4. Blythe, who had four RBIs on the afternoon, took a 5-4 lead by scoring DeYoung on a bunt that induced a bad throw by the pitcher to first.
“I’ve been seeing the ball really well since spring break,” said Blythe. “If we come together and play well instead of being selfish, we’ll be good.”
Golden Valley did not score another run until the seventh inning. They had their opportunities with men on base, but couldn’t get the hit that they needed during the game.
“We were in situations today to produce some more runs but they made some good pitches and good plays,” said Golden Valley head coach Matt Sorenson. “The combination of those things happening is why there are all of those 0’s on the scoreboard. What separates us from them today is that once they got the momentum, they were able to build and that shut us down”
James lasted five innings in Friday’s affair, striking out five batters for Golden Valley.
In the top of the sixth inning, Canyon manufactured two more runs, creating a 7-4 lead. Harrison singled in DeYoung for his second RBI. Junior shortstop Josh Ortega also singled home Harrison to build the lead.
They also scored three runs in the top of the seventh from a three-run home run produced by Blythe that skipped off the center fielder’s glove and over the fence. The Cowboys were up 10-4.
“Noah Blythe continues to hit and if he’s like that he’ll be one of the toughest outs in this league,” said Stark. “Having Tyler DeYoung in front of him is just a nightmare for pitchers.”
Melville, who pitched three strong innings in relief, got into some trouble during the bottom of the seventh when the Grizzlies began to mount a comeback.
Both junior left fielder Joe Behan and junior Logan Rightmyer tagged Melville for two RBIs making the score 10-6. Senior Collin Cunningham came in for relief with one out and made quick work of the next two batters to end the game, claiming a victory for Canyon.
The Cowboys will look to build off of their win on the road against Valencia on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. The Grizzlies will be at Hart for their next game which is on the same day and time as Canyon.