By Jason Greenwald
For The Signal
The Santa Clarita Christian School baseball team took to the field Monday afternoon to play their second-to-last game of the season against Valley Torah at the William S. Hart Pony Baseball and Softball Complex.
The Cardinal batters were absolutely electric in a 15-2 winning performance. They went on an offensive attack for the majority of the game, scoring eight runs in the first inning, five runs in the second and two runs in the third against Valley Torah.
“The guys took the pitches they liked and drove in runs at a good spot,” said SCCS head coach Judson Tibbitts. “They took advantage of some errors from the other team. For the most part, the hitting on our side was very sound.”
TJ Evans got it going in the bottom of the first inning for Santa Clarita Christian (5-11 overall, 3-8 in Heritage League), hitting a leadoff single. Ewan Leonard followed suit as the next batter, hitting a hard-hit single to put runners on first and second base with no outs.
The three-hole hitter seized his opportunity by crushing a single that scored Evans, taking the first lead of the game at 1-0. Jared Mumper did his job as the cleanup hitter lining a ball deep into the opponent’s outfield for a double that brought in Leonard, advancing the score to 2-0.
With no one out and two runners on base, pitcher Jed Park came to the plate and hit a double that guided in two more runs in the inning, making it 4-0. Jeremiah Back got into the action as well, collecting an RBI from a single, putting the Cardinals up 5-0.
It was still the first inning with two outs when Evans came to the plate again. He layed off on a couple of good pitches until he found the one he liked. With a swift swing of the bat, Evans crushed the ball over the Valley Torah center fielder and managed to round third with time to spare in his inside-the-park three-run home run. Santa Clarita Christian was up 8-0 at the end of the first inning.
“I feel like I played a lot better than I usually do,” said Evans. “A few of the pitches I could tell were moving and I tried to see if I could hit it in the best spot.”
Park made quick work of Valley Torah (1-13,1-10) in the first and second inning on the mound.
The offensive barrage continued in the bottom of the second inning when Johnny Werner, Kaden Leos and Mumper all singled in a run to secure an 11-0 lead. Evans, who had a total of five RBIs on the day, thumped in two more runs from a triple, putting them at 13-0.
Park got into some pitching trouble in the top of the third inning, walking two batters and giving up a single to Valley Torah. With the bases loaded and two outs, the catcher touched the opponent’s bat in the batter’s box and induced an interference call to score a run.
“My fastball and curveball were working today,” said Park. “I feel like I definitely got us into a couple of jams, but once we were into them I only gave up one run to an interference call.”
The Cardinals scored two more runs in the bottom of the third after Back produced another hit, scoring two more base runners in a 15-1 route.
Valley Torah scored one more run in the top of the fourth inning before the mercy rule came into effect during the fifth, which ended the game.
“We want to build on what we did today. We don’t want to be down to an opponent, we want to keep the energy high, said Tibbitts. “My goal for tomorrow is to finish on a high note and keep that intensity and level of performance up.”
The Cardinals’ league season comes to a close on the road tomorrow at Valley Torah. The game will take place at 6:30 p.m.