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.
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.
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.
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.