The West Hills College baseball squad traveled to Victorville on Friday afternoon to start a three game series vs. Victor Valley College. The Falcons (5-5) looked to get its record above .500 for the first time this season. The Rams entered the day with a record of 6-6.
Freshman Brian Perales took the ball for West Hills to start the day. Perales lasted 2 and two-thirds innings while striking out two Rams batters. The Falcons found themselves in an early hole, as Victor Valley was able to plate three runs in the first inning and four runs in the second.
On Saturday the Falcons wasted no time getting to work by putting up seven runs in the first two innings. Freshman right-handed pitcher Chad Gotto took the bump for West Hills and kept the Rams bats quiet all game. Gotto went eight complete innings and allowed three hits and no earned runs.
Gotto entered the 8th inning with a shutout, but poor defense prevented the shutout from happening. A one out single, followed by an errant throw from 3b Brian Perales put runners on 2nd and 3rd, and the Rams finally got on the board with a 2 run single. Gotto finished the inning and was very pleased with him performance, and his team's offense. "I was able to located down in the zone today," said Gotto. "It's easy to pitch for a team like this because you know they will give you run support. Being able to step on the mound and already be ahead six runs makes everything much more relaxed."
The West Hills defense was able to turn three key double plays to keep the Rams scoreless through seven innings.
RBI's from Torres, Lorenzini, and Isaiah Daniel made the score final at 11-4 in favor of the Falcons.
Lefty Spencer Hammond toed the rubber for West Hills in game two. Hammond lasted seven innings and allowed six runs and struck out ten Rams batters.
Bases loaded walks and hit by pitches scored five runs for the Falcons in the top of the second inning. Victor Valley responded with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to bring the score back to even. The Rams were then able to take the lead with an RBI single to left field to make the score 6-5 after three innings of play.
West Hills was able to plate a run in every inning after the third. Jeff Torres started things off by scoring Trent Bollman with an RBI single to right field to knot everything up at six runs. In the top of the fifth inning Evan Richards hit a sacrifice fly to left field to drive in Jake Lorenzini and give West Hills the lead. A Rams fielding error off the bat of Alante Uribe drove in two more Falcons runs to extend the lead. Brandon Hernandez then hit a sacrifice fly to left field to plate Lorenzini.
In the top of the seventh inning Trent Bollman added an insurance run with a solo shot over the left field fence. Hernandez came up again and laced a two RBI double up the middle to bring in the 12th and 13th run for West Hills. Scotty Ingle then capped things off with an RBI single in the top of the ninth inning to bring in the Falcons final run.
Victor Valley didn't go down without a fight and were able to score four runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but fell short to make the score final 14-11 in favor of West Hills College. Head Coach Stefan McGovern was pleased with his team's performance over the weekend. "I thought we did a good job of handling adversity, considering we got beat pretty good in the first game. To come back and sweep the doubleheader, and get two outstanding pitching performances from our starting pitchers was great to see. If we can consistently throw strikes and limit our walks, we've shown we can be a tough team to beat. I look forward to see how we can respond in our last week before conference."
After the series West Hills moves its record to 7-6 on the season. The Falcons wills stay on the road for its next game vs. Allan Hancock College on Tuesday, February 28th with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 pm.
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Game 1: West Hills 9 – Victor Valley 15
Game 2: West Hills 11 – Victor Valley 4
Game 3: West Hills 14 – Victor Valley 11