Prep baseball roundup

Saugus's Paul Galaviz (15) throws a pitch during the third inning of a Foothill League game between the West Ranch Wildcats and the Saugus Centurions at West Ranch High School on Friday, March 18, 2022. The Wildcats won 6-4. Chris Torres/The Signal

By Justin Vigil-Zuniga 

Signal Sports Writer 

Week three of Foothill League action had some great matchups and now only one undefeated team remains in Hart. 

Two of the three winless teams also snagged their first league victory as teams are hoping to reach their midseason stride. 

Week 3 Foothill League Baseball Standings  

  1. Hart (10-7, 4-0) 
  1. West Ranch (8-8, 5-1) 
  1. Castaic (7-4, 3-1) 
  1. Valencia (7-8, 4-2) 
  1. Canyon (6-7-1, 1-3) 
  1. Golden Valley (5-10, 1-5) 
  1. Saugus (4-13, 0-6) 

West Ranch splits with Valencia, both exchange blowouts 

The Wildcats won the opener at Valencia, 12-4. The Vikings have proven they play better when they’re angry and came back with a 10-2 victory at West Ranch. Jake Callahan was a perfect 4-4 followed by Logan Mandel and Josef Brosche with impressive 3-4 days at the plate. Sophomore Jackson Banuelos was great again on the mound, holding the electric Valencia bats to just one run in his five innings of work. Banuelos fanned four with no walks. 

Jose Mariano hit a home run in each game, bringing his streak to three games now. Mariano has 12 RBI in his last three games and now seven homers on the year. 

Valencia senior Matt Chapman shut down the Cats in their second game, throwing a two-hitter. The pitcher’s offense backed him up with two-hit days from Mariano, Chris Kishel, Scotty Pieper, Aiden Voyles and Noah Nichols. 

The Vikings will now head into their league series with Canyon before facing the No. 1 Sierra Canyon on Saturday. 

“[We] just need to keep hitting and pitching like I know we are capable of,” said Valencia head coach Brad Meza. 

West Ranch will now have a long two weeks off before more league action thanks to a bye week and spring break. The Cats will be at Moorpark Friday for a non-league matchup with the Musketeers before hosting CIF’s top ranked Division 3 St. John Bosco on Monday.  

Hart sweeps Saugus, remains last unbeaten 

The Indians started their week strong, blanking Saugus at Hart, 5-0. The Centurions have now been blanked six times this season. 

Saugus shook it off and came out swinging at home. Connor Bates got the start for the Centurions and held Hart in check through his four innings on the mound. Bates had just two hits against him while striking out five. 

The pitcher also led the offense with a two-hit day, including his first home run of the season. The Indians would eventually take the lead but the game went down to the final wire with a combined 10 runs being scored in the seventh inning. 

Hart first thought they crushed any Saugus hope, going up 15-7 in the top of the seventh before the Centurions managed a rally of their own. Saugus couldn’t get enough runs for the win but gave the Indians a run for their money, scoring four runs in the seventh. The Centurions have now lost nine straight. 

“They’re pretty resilient. I’ve been around baseball a long time, I’ve seen how things go,” said Saugus head coach Carl Grissom. “It’s easy to bury your head, but that’s not how this team goes about their business.” 

Hart had a huge test in Sierra Canyon on Saturday, dropping the matchup 7-3. The Trailblazers capitalized on a handful of Hart errors in both the infield and outfield. Hart still managed to stay in the game and while they couldn’t pull another six-run seventh inning out of the hat, the team knows they could beat Sierra Canyon in a rematch if they get one. 

Saugus will now have their league series with Golden Valley with a game at Mira Costa in Manhattan Beach in between Grizzly games. It’ll be a busy Wednesday through Friday but with spring break looming, Grissom will want the guys to get as much play as they can. 

Canyon splits with Golden Valley, each pick up their first win 

Golden Valley has been searching for a win for a while but after losing seven in a row, the Grizzlies took their opener with Canyon. Senior Jacob Frankera led the team with three RBI and was one of three Golden Valley batters with two hits. 

Canyon managed to take the lead with a big four-run inning in the sixth. The Grizzlies scored immediately to tie and Xavier Morales won the game with a walk-off RBI double.  

Both teams’ bats stayed hot and the Cowboys stole the second game, 9-7. The Grizzlies then dropped their weekend matchup with Maranatha, 5-4. 

Golden Valley is back on another losing streak but the win over Canyon broke the team’s seven-game streak without a win. Golden Valley will have its season series with Saugus in week four while Canyon prepares for Valencia. 

Baseball Schedule  

Wednesday March 30 

Canyon @ Valencia at 3:30 p.m. 

Hart @ Castaic at 3:30 p.m. 

Golden Valley @ Saugus at 3:30 p.m. 

Thursday March 31 

Saugus @ Mira Costa at 3 p.m. 

Friday April 1 

Valencia @ Canyon at 3:30 p.m. 

Castaic @ Hart at 3:30 p.m. 

Saugus @ Golden Valley at 3:30 p.m. 

West Ranch @ Moorpark at 3:30 p.m. 

Saturday April 2 

Valencia @ No. 1 Sierra Canyon at 10 a.m. 

Hart @ Chatsworth at 10 a.m. 

Burroughs @ Castaic at 10 a.m. 

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