Golden Valley baseball buries Taft 

Golden Valley's Jack Steidl (33) pitches during the third inning of Wednesday's game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
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Golden Valley baseball’s hot start continued as the Grizzlies blasted the visiting Taft Toreadors on Wednesday.  

The Grizzlies were locked in at the plate and piled on the runs in the 12-3 win.  

Golden Valley (5-1-1) saw the same dominance from senior Jackie Steidl both on the mound and at the plate.  

Steidl went six innings strong on the hill while going 2-for-3 with two walks at the plate. The ace got off to a solid start but heated up later in the game when he retired seven straight.  

Steidl finished his day allowing five hits and one earned run with seven strikeouts.  

“Jack was great. He’s just just doing Jack stuff,” said Grizzlies coach Adrian Rios. “He’s been really good in that respect. He had a really good complete game last week and then he went all the way into the sixth today.” 

At the plate, the pitcher was one of four Grizzlies with two-hit days as Golden Valley was able to get on top of Toreador starter Spencer Peña early. 

Golden Valley pounded in five runs in both the first and fifth innings, while stranding some runners in between. 

The Grizzlies took a 2-0 lead before recording their first out, as the team mauled everything that flew into the strike zone. 

Peña escaped the first inning with back-to-back strikeouts but ended his day in the third inning. Toreador reliever Andres Fernandez was able to slow down the Grizzly offense with some solid left-handed pitching. 

Fernandez gave up some runs but delivered three straight strikeouts through the fourth and fifth innings. 

One of the Grizzlies’ top pitchers, Tyler Tait, started in the outfield but out of the batting order. Tait entered the order as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the fifth with the bases loaded. The senior hadn’t taken a swing all day but cleared the bases with a huge three-RBI double to put his team up by an even bigger margin. 

Golden Valley teammates celebrate three back-to-back runs during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Tait led the team in RBI while Steidl, Connor Anderson and Bryce Gayles all added two hits, two runs and one RBI each. 

Freshman Ayden Renstrom closed out the game for the Grizzlies in the seventh. Renstrom didn’t throw like a freshman, despite giving up a few runs off a deep double from Taft senior Dylan Sidell. The freshman shook it off and came through after the double with a pair of strikeouts to end the game. 

Golden Valley’s Ayden Renstrom (16) pitches during the seventh inning against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

The Grizzlies are off to yet another hot start in non-league thanks to some solid pitching and red-hot bats that are scoring just under eight runs a game. 

“We’ve been hitting the ball well,” Rios said. “The team as a whole, one through nine, have been hitting the ball well.” 

Rios is hoping this will be the hot start that finally translates into league play. The skipper has led the team to a 23-12-1 non-league record in his three years at the helm but is still looking to get his team into the postseason.  

“There’s nothing here that says we’ve ever been in the playoffs and that’s what I want these guys to always envision when they come out on the field,” Rios said. “That we’re going to be the first team in school history to get somewhere. I try and drill that into their heads every single day.” 

Golden Valley’s Mike Lizzari (3) runs to home plate during the third inning of Wednesday’s game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Another tough Foothill League schedule lies ahead for the Grizzlies but Rios believes this may be the year Golden Valley finally breaks through and earns a playoff spot for the first time in program history. 

Rios believes the past may have dictated some struggles in earlier seasons but now believes he has the team that can shake off the infamous history and go compete. 

“It’s just great to get the mentality that we can win baseball games,” Rios said. “We can beat some decent teams. I’ve always had the mindset that if you can get a couple runs on a team, your pitcher that’s throwing 80 mph, now he’s throwing what seems like 88 because you start pressing. I need these guys to say, ‘Hey, we can win baseball games.’ This isn’t the same old Golden Valley or Garbage Valley, whatever you want to call it. We’re a team that can compete.” 

While Foothill League play begins next week, Golden Valley will take its league bye and have a handful more non-league games before the fun begins in a few weeks with Castaic. 

Golden Valley returns home on Tuesday to host the Foothill Tech Dragons at 3 p.m. 

Golden Valley’s Bryce Gayles (2) bats during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Golden Valley’s Mike Lizzari (3) swings a pitch during the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Golden Valley’s Matthew Martinez (14) fields the ball during the fifth inning of Wedneday’s game against Taft on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal
Golden Valley’s Jerin Haro (37) slides into second base against Taft second baseman Dominic Cioffi (4) during the sixth inning of Wednesday’s game on Feb. 28. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

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