Canyon Cowboys baseball matched its highest-scoring game in five years on Wednesday in a home tournament win over the Lincoln Tigers.
Canyon won the game, 18-6, snapping an 11-game losing streak, with scoring coming in nearly every inning of play.
The Cowboys (3-12) poured in eight runs in the second inning as the team nearly went through the order twice. Canyon jumped all over Tigers starting pitcher Anthony Paredes and the runs just kept piling up. Paredes’ day was done after just 1.2 innings of work.
Canyon starter Brody Bayliss also opened the game hot on the mound, with two 1-2-3 innings to start the game. Bayliss, a freshman, held Lincoln off base until the third inning. Two Cowboys had already batted three times before Tigers left fielder Sebastian Cortez stepped up to the plate, but the outfielder was unfazed by the deficit and reached on a fielding error in his first at-bat.
Seven Cowboys reached base at least twice, including first baseman Elijah Valentin and captain Pablo Rodriguez, who both had three-hit days.
“I think we’ve been capable of hitting like this,” Rodriguez said. “We just haven’t shown it. We’ve been hitting the ball well against good teams and they’ve just been finding gloves. I think if we just keep working eventually it’s going to find holes and we’re going to start winning these games that we’re losing.”
The Cowboy duo stayed hot and opened up the third inning with back-to-back triples.
Lincoln (1-9) struck in the fifth inning and chased Bayliss off the mound. The Tigers then sparked again in the fifth inning, where they brought in a season-high of four runs scored in a single inning. Bayliss was just as effective at the plate, going 2-of-4 with a double.
Canyon was only held scoreless in the fifth inning but piled on some comfort runs in the sixth. Senior Nathan Orona knocked in his first RBI of the season on a sacrifice fly.
It’s been a rocky start for Canyon, but Wednesday’s win was just what the doctor ordered.
“We needed that win badly,” Rodriguez said. “We’ve had lapses in our offense in recent games so it’s nice to get that monkey off our backs and see all the bats hit today.”
First-year head coach Zach Newman has seen his team come a long way from just about a dozen guys who play baseball together.
“What I look for is how my team comes together as a team,” Newman said. “As the year progresses, we’ve just gotten stronger bonds and we’re playing more like a team every single game. So, if we win, that’s great. But what I look for is hustle and being a good teammate.”
Rodriguez has also seen the team grow closer than it has been in years past.
“I think the camaraderie overall has been great,” Rodriguez said. “Last year, there were definitely different sectors on the team, but I think this year, everyone gets along with everybody. Everyone cheers everybody on.”
Canyon showed great energy in the dugout throughout the game, a feat Valentin will hope to see continue in tougher games.
“Energy today was really good,” Valentin said. “We need to keep doing that every single game and keep adding on to that so we can keep going after every team.”
Canyon will continue tournament play on Thursday when the team heads to Crescenta Valley. The Cowboys will return to league action on Saturday morning, when the team heads to Golden Valley at 10 a.m.
The Cowboys know it’ll take a lot of work but finishing near the top of the Foothill League is still within reach.
“We know we can’t take days off even during spring break,” Rodriguez said. “We still have to put the work in because the other teams in league are not taking days off. So, when they’re working we have to be working just as hard as them, if not harder.”