By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Valencia baseball (6-7, 3-1) won its non-league matchup via a mercy rule beatdown of Chatsworth (7-5).
The Vikings got hits from literally everywhere but designated hitter Jose Mariano stole the show in his two-home-run day.
Mariano hit a grand slam followed by a three-run homer in his next at bat. The senior finished 3-4 with 7 RBI.
“I was just trying to get a hit,” said a laughing Mariano. “It just so happened it went out.”
The Vikings scored in every inning at the plate and tallied enough runs to end the day early, mercying Chatsworth. The team showed no signs of fatigue playing in their third game in four days.
Leadoff man Scotty Pieper got the first hit and score of the day. Pieper was brought in by left fielder Chris Kishel with a two-out RBI single. Kishel and Pieper both batted 2-4.
Valencia scored one and stranded three to end the top of the first but that would be their least productive inning.
“I have a lot of confidence in the guys batting behind me,” said Pieper. “We did a good job today.”
Three Vikings singles loaded up the bases for Jose Mariano, who blasted his first past left field.
Mariano was due up again with two on and launched his second past left field to take a 9-0 lead.
Valencia officially put the mercy up for grabs in the fifth. Back-to-back RBI doubles from Kaden Shields and Noah Nichols put the lead over 10 runs at 13-2. Nichols and Shields both finished 3-4.
Junior pitcher Mathew Sherwood got the start for the Vikings. Sherwood was solid through three innings before giving up a two-run homer to Chancellors second baseman Octavio Bonilla.
After two walks, Valencia head coach Brad Meza made the call to put a new arm on the mound.
Sherwood finished his four innings of work with six strikeouts and two earned runs.
“Mathew had a great day at the bump today,” said Mariano. “I’m really proud of him.”
Pitcher Lane Mittleman hit his first batter, loading the bases with no outs. The relief pitcher was not jittery and knew his defense was ready to make a play.
Mittleman struck out Chatsworth’s Barry Menjivar before registering the 5-2-3 double play to end the game in the fifth inning.
Valencia bounced back with a bang after dropping Friday’s league matchup with Castaic. The Vikings had four batters with three hits and nearly everyone else had two.
“I think we were mad,” said Valencia head coach Brad Meza. “We let that game yesterday get away from us.”
The team gets back into the win column before their Foothill League series with West Ranch (7-7, 4-0) Wednesday and Friday.
“I think we’re right where we want to be,” said Pieper. “We’re doing good, we’re going to keep rolling.”