By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
After week one of Foothill League baseball saw three sweeps, one series finally split in week two. All three victors last week were those of teams with new head coaches.
Week two showcased a lot of skilled baseball being played around the Santa Clarita Valley.
West Ranch sweeps Saugus
The Wildcats (7-7, 4-0) rolled Saugus (4-11, 0-4) in their league series. Sophomore Jackson Banuelos was huge in the first game, steamrolling the Centurion offense. Banuelos threw a three-hitter over six innings with nine strikeouts. Ty DePerno and Josef Brosche matched with three hits themselves on the day, helping the Cats win 10-0 at Saugus.
The Centurions swung the bat better in their second matchup with West Ranch. Cats’ starting pitcher Jake Schwartz was great on the bump, striking out six over 5.2 innings. Jake Callahan would hit a monster two-run home run to right field to push the lead to 6-1. West Ranch also got great outings from Michael Taylor, Brett Potter and Dj Tsukashima. Potter batted 3-3 while Tsukashima hit 2-3, both getting one RBI. Taylor got the save for West Ranch, allowing one hit in his one inning of work.
Saugus will now have a league series with Hart, while West Ranch will prepare for Valencia.
Castaic splits with Valencia
Valencia (6-7, 3-1) rode their momentum from their Saugus sweep into their opener with Castaic (7-3, 3-1). The Vikings won their first game, 7-2. Senior Tyler Biggs, who one-hit Saugus, threw six great innings. Biggs struck out five, giving up three hits and one earned run.
Valencia looked in control in the second game, up 5-0 in the fifth inning. The Coyotes would manage a rally to chase pitcher Matt Chapman off the mound and score eight unanswered runs, winning the game 8-5. Castaic was led by Matt Airhart with a 2-4, 4 RBI day at the plate. The Coyotes also had big two-hit days from Kyler Freude, Tyler Hawn and Ethan Silva. Vikings’ leadoff man Scotty Pieper registered his third three-hit game of the season in the loss.
Valencia was frustrated from their Friday home loss and inevitably took it out on Chatsworth in their weekend matchup. The Vikings stormed past the Chancellors 13-2 in a five-inning mercy rule win after the team registered a season-high 20 hits. Jose Mariano led the team with two homers and seven RBI.
Castaic will now get the league bye week and prepare for a game with El Camino Real. Valencia will get two shots at West Ranch in a pivotal week three series that can create something space in the standings.
Hart sweeps Golden Valley
The Indians (8-6, 2-0) got some solid wins in their first league series with the Grizzlies (4-8, 0-4). In their opener, Hart got solid two-hit games from Brayden Jeffris, Zach Stamer and Ryan De La Maza. Troy Cooper and Ethan Rhodes did well on the mound, keeping Golden Valley out of striking distance.
The Indians will now play in their league series with Saugus. Golden Valley will have a shot at their first league win in their series with Canyon. Golden Valley is swinging the bat better but head coach Adrian Rios is still looking to find more pieces to help the Grizzlies on the mound.
Wednesday, March 23
Canyon @ Golden Valley at 3:30 p.m.
West Ranch @Valencia at 3:30 p.m.
Saugus @ Hart at 3:30 p.m.
Friday, March 25
Golden Valley @ Canyon at 3:30 p.m.
Valencia @ West Ranch at 3:30 p.m.
Hart @ Saugus at 3:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 26
Hart @ Sierra Canyon at 10 a.m.
El Camino Real @ Castaic at 10 a.m.
Golden Valley @ Maranatha at 12 p.m.