LA North: Valencia baseball, softball teams tested in Foothill League

It looks as if there might be a changing of the guard in the Foothill League in baseball and softball.

The Valencia softball team dropped to 2-3 in league play after losing to Canyon, 1-0, on Tuesday. The Vikings have won 10 straight Foothill League championships. At the midway point of the league season, Valencia is in fourth place.

Saugus has emerged as the class of the Foothill League after a dominating 15-1 win over Golden Valley to take sole possession of first place. The Centurions are 4-1 in league.

Hart and West Ranch are tied for second place in league with 3-2 records. Hart beat West Ranch, 4-1, to force the tie in the standings.

Meanwhile, on the baseball side, Valencia is being tested on a weekly basis. The Vikings at 8-2 lead the Foothill League standings by a game over Hart. The Vikings are coming off a 2-1 win over West Ranch, but starter Nick Rivas hurt his arm and left the game in the third inning.

Valencia has won the past two and five of the six past Foothill League championships. Hart won the league title in 2008.

Hart is keeping pace with Valencia. The Indians soundly beat Canyon, 13-4 on Wednesday, scoring six runs in the sixth inning and five in the fifth.

The real battle is for third-place and an automatic bid into the CIF Southern Section playoffs.

West Ranch and Canyon both lost Wednesday. The Wildcats are in third place in league with a 5-5 record. Canyon is in fourth place at 4-6. Golden Valley, at 3-7 in league play, has jumped into the mix with a surprising win over Saugus.

With five games to go, it has become a two-team race in the Foothill League. West Ranch will have its hands full for third place.

West Valley League: El Camino Real and Chatsworth are tied for first place in the West Valley League standings after five games. El Camino beat Granada Hills, 4-2, and Chatsworth lost to Woodland Hills Taft, 8-7 in extra innings, on Wednesday.

El Camino and Chatsworth are both 4-1 in league play. El Camino starter Jose Cardona went the distance against Granada Hills. In an interesting twist, Oscar Tinjaca, a transfer from Granada Hills, hit a two-run home run for El Camino.

Taft beat Chatsworth with a ninth-inning, solo home run from Alex Sawelson. The Toreadors tied the game, 7-7, in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jerry Barrajas pitched all nine innings for Taft to earn the win.

For good measure, Birmingham beat Cleveland of Reseda, 6-5. Kevin Torres homered and drove in three runs.