Simonian breaks streak in Valencia baseball’s shutout win over Canyon

Valencia's Parker Simonian (22) celebrates on second base after hitting a double and beating the throw to Canyon 2nd baseman Jake Milak (12) in the fourth inning at Valencia on March , 6, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal
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After finishing last season with 33 singles, Valencia baseball’s senior Parker Simonian did not record any doubles during the 2019 season. On Friday, that all changed with Simonian not only breaking the streak, but finishing the game 2-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs.

“It’s kind of a running joke that we have,” said Valencia head coach Mike Killinger. “He had a great season last year and he’s started off well this year, but for whatever reason, he didn’t have any doubles. We made a joke with him, every time he comes up, ‘Oh this is the time’ and today, he finally got one.”

Valencia shut out Canyon 10-0 at Valencia for the Vikings’ second double-digit win of the week against the Cowboys. In the past two games, Valencia has forced 25 runs, while giving up only one in the two wins.

Valencia (5-3-1 overall, 2-0 Foothill League) put right-handed pitcher and University of Arizona commit, Ryan Kysar, on the mound and he delivered. Kysar pitched a complete game, giving up four hits and striking out 12 batters along with way.

Valencia pitcher Ryan Kysar (16) throws against Canyon at Valencia on Friday, March 6, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

“I was comfortable with my catcher, Grant Weiss, behind the plate and calling the pitches,” Kysar said of his impressive outing. “It makes life easy when you have a guy like that behind the plate to pitch to.”

The Vikings began the contest scoring four runs in the first inning as Weiss brought home Simonian and Jakob Marquez home with an RBI double. The next batter, Mitchell Torres, followed with an RBI double scoring Weiss from second and JT Tejada capped the inning’s scoring with an RBI single bringing Torres in.

Weiss and Torres both finished the game 2-for-4 and combined for three RBIs.

“I thought we came out and swung the bats really well,” Killinger said. “Even though we scored four in the first inning, we hit a lot of other balls for outs. It was exciting to see them come out for the second straight game and score at least four in the first inning.”

Canyon (5-3, 0-2) began the game with a Noah Blythe single, but found it hard to score any runs thanks to Kysar and the Vikings’ defense.

“That’s a pretty good Valencia team over there,” said Canyon assistant coach Mike Adachi. “The arm that they put out there, he can bring it a little bit. It’s hard to face a guy like that and get some good swings on it, but we try to prepare as well as we can. It’s just about execution that we have to do a little bit better with.”

In the top of the third inning with one out and Steven Gonzalez on second base, Tejada hit a ball field towards Colin Figueroa. Figueroa made the catch and flung the ball over to third base to beat Gonzalez’s slide and get the double play to end the inning.

Cowboys head coach Justin Stark argued a call in the bottom of the fourth inning on a throw to first base that Valencia’s Kaden Brennan was called safe. Stark was thrown out by the base umpire for arguing the call.

After beginning the game with a flyout, Brock Kleszcz took advantage of the long break and in the very next at-bat after the ejection, connected with a ball that wasn’t hurling towards centerfield for a two-run home run to put the Vikings up 6-0.

Valencia’s Brock Kleszcz (15) celebrates with teammate Jacob Marquez (3) after Kleszcz hit a 2-run home run in the fourth inning at Valencia on Friday, March 6, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

Kleszcz finished the game 3-for-4 with a home run two RBIs.

“I’ve been struggling at the plate a little this year,” Kleszcz said. “I’ve been hitting the ball well, but the ball hasn’t been falling my way so I stayed positive, listened to everything my coaches told me to do and took everything from practice into the game. It turned out well.”

Simonian reached base safely on a double and Marquez brought him in with an RBI single to extend the Vikings’ lead to seven.

Then in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Vikings lit up the scoreboard once again, putting up three more runs. Simonian hit his second double of the day bringing in Sean Ogrin and Kleszcz and Weiss capped the day’s scoring with a single that drove in Simonian.

“Very deep lineup and when guys are, they call it, ‘passing the rope’ or whatever,” Killinger said about the hot-hitting to begin league play. “They are able to pile on real quick in certain circumstances and it’s fun to see, we call them ‘crooked numbers’ on the scoreboard.”

Cowboys pitcher Justin Powell lasted five innings giving up seven runs, while striking out two and Frank Boyce closed out the game and gave up three runs with one strikeout.

Valencia takes on Ayala tomorrow at 11 a.m. and resumes Foothill League play at Golden Valley at 3:30 p.m. Canyon picks up league play back up on Wednesday with West Ranch at 3:30 p.m. at home.

“Battling back from losses like this, it’s not Canyon baseball, it’s something that we have to try to get past,” Adachi said. “We see West Ranch next week and hopefully, we will get two games.”

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