West Ranch baseball beats Valencia to tighten race for league title

West Ranch senior outfielder Garrett Monheim celebrates following a three-run blast in a Foothill League matchup with Valencia at West Ranch High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

By Jason Greenwald
For The Signal

West Ranch baseball took advantage of its opportunity to split the Foothill League title after beating Valencia 6-3 in a highly anticipated showdown Tuesday afternoon at West Ranch.

The Wildcats (22-5 overall, 11-3 in Foothill League) now find themselves one game back from the Vikings (17-12, 11-3) with only one game left in the season. If Valencia wins their next league game against Hart on Thursday, they will claim the Foothill League title. If Hart were to beat Valencia and West Ranch were to defeat Golden Valley, both teams would share the Foothill League title.

West Ranch senior outfielder Garrett Monheim rounds the bases following a three-run blast in a Foothill League matchup with Valencia at West Ranch High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Senior right hand starting pitcher JD Callahan was determined to not let Valencia claim victory and pitched six strong innings and collected nine strikeouts. Senior right fielder Garret Monheim contributed with his bat and hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the third inning.

West Ranch senior pitcher JD Callahan fires home in a Foothill League matchup with Valencia at West Ranch High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

Valencia battled back from a three-run deficit in the top of the fourth inning, tagging Callahan with three runs to tie the game at 3-3.

Valencia junior outfielder Brock Kleszcz slides home in a Foothill League matchup with West Ranch at West Ranch High School Tuesday afternoon. Cory Rubin/The Signal

West Ranch seized their opportunity in the bottom of the fifth inning scoring three runs from multiple singles through the infield. The Wildcats were up 6-3 at the end of the fifth inning.

Callahan was taken out after the sixth inning and senior Trent Bird came in for relief. Bird managed to strikeout the side to close the game and give West Ranch an important victory.    

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