The West Ranch baseball team escaped with their third Foothill League win of the season in a 7-4 decision against Canyon at Canyon on Wednesday, but the final score didn’t accurately reflect just how close the Cowboys were to earning their first league win of the season.
The Wildcats (5-6 overall, 3-0 Foothill League) got key contributions from hitters Trey Topping (3-for-4, two RBIs) and Ryan Farr (2-for-4, three RBIs) at the plate, while sluggers Noah Blythe (2-for-3, RBI) and Colin Figueroa (1-for-4, 2 RBI) came up clutch for the Cowboys.
“I think the guy is a God,” Topping said of Farr. “I’ve looked up to him since I was in the eighth grade. He’s a hero to me and I’m super excited for him to have an awesome senior year.”
Canyon’s starting pitcher, Jacob Melville, managed to keep the Wildcats off the board through the first three innings, but an RBI triple by Farr at the top of the fourth scored Topping and a DJ Tsukashima single scored Farr giving the visitors a 2-0 advantage.
West Ranch pitcher Scott Bauman pitched 4.33 innings giving up six hits, two strikeouts and one earned run that came in the bottom of the fifth inning. After Canyon’s Chris Delong doubled to center field, Blythe scorched a ball into left field for an RBI double scoring Delong to make it 2-1 West Ranch.
“Noah is going to be one of the better hitters in the league,” said Canyon assistant coach Mike Adachi. “He’s a hard out no matter what. He can adjust to pitchers and has a great approach to when he gets up there.”
Two batters later, after Canyon’s Justin Powell was hit-by-pitch to put runners on first and second base with one out, Luke St. Amand was brought onto pitch.
St. Amand delivered and made the double-play by catching a liner that was heading towards him, turned and got the final out at second base.
An inning later, St. Amand got out of another jam after surrendering the lead to Canyon off a two-run single by Figueroa that scored Brandon Whiting and Pablo Rodriguez to give the Cowboys their first lead of the game.
With a runner on-base, St. Amand struck out two of the final three batters to end the inning down, 3-2.
“Scott gave us a really good starting performance and somewhere along the way you have to go to your bullpen,” said West Ranch head coach Casey Burrill. “I thought Luke was pretty clutch to get us out of some big jams.”
Melville was subbed off in favor of Powell to begin the seventh inning. He lasted six innings and gave up six hits, two earned runs and two strikeouts.
“He dug deep and did a good job,” Adachi said. “He got the outs when he needed to. He was running on fumes there at the end and he dug deep. You hate to see how it turned out for Jacob.”
Powell loaded the bases with two walks and a double to begin his day on the mound for the Cowboys (5-4, 0-3). The following at-bat, Topping delivered a two-run RBI single scoring Blake Schroeder and Jake Callahan.
After walking Brandon Wyre, Farr brought home Nicholas Perez and Topping with an RBI single to give the Wildcats a 6-3 lead.
“If I’m Canyon I think I walk Nick Perez, after his career here at West Ranch,” Burrill said. “It’s really neat to see guys come in right behind him and make them pay for it. Kudos to Trey and Ryan for coming with some really big hits when we really needed it.”
Wyre eventually scored on a passed ball before the top of the seventh inning was over and Canyon returned the favor in the bottom of the seventh inning as Powell scored the game’s final run on a passed ball.
“I thought we did some good things during the game, but we left some runners on early, we didn’t execute like we should have early on,” Adachi said. “That kind of hurt us when we had to claw back at the end there. It hurts a little bit, being up, it’s a tough one to handle.”
Trent Huff finished the game out on the mound for West Ranch going ⅔ of an inning with one hit and two strikeouts.
West Ranch and Canyon pick things up again at 2 p.m. Thursday at West Ranch.
“I thought their starting arm who went six innings was really effective today,” Burrill said. “He mixed three pitches in for strikes, keeping our hitters off-balance all day. I’m super proud of the resilience at the end to push a bunch of runs across with some big hits. We didn’t have that in the first six innings so it was nice to get that in the seventh.”