Los Angeles Preps: A.J. Balta

Valencia comes back, beats West Ranch

April, 18, 2012

STEVENSON RANCH -- Valencia’s Brian Mundell drilled a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning to break a 3-3 tie and give the Vikings a 5-3, come-from-behind victory over Foothill League rival West Ranch on Wednesday.

Mundell’s double capped a seventh-inning hit parade that produced two runs and provided the difference in a game between two of the top teams in league.

Trey Williams led off the inning with a single and Keston Hiura followed with another single to put runners on first and second with no outs.

That set the scene for Mundell to deliver in the clutch.

“He really adjusted from his first two at-bats, when he struggled,” Valencia coach Jared Snyder said. “He doesn’t put a lot of pressure on himself. He goes up there looking for his pitch. He just takes quality swings at all times. He loves that situation.”

Valencia (12-6) had to rally late in the game to erase a two-run deficit. West Ranch had a 3-1 lead in the third inning before the Vikings started scratching back in the game.

Valencia scored a run in the fourth to cut the West Ranch lead to one run. The Vikings scored again in the fifth inning to tie the score, 3-3.

Mundell knocked in the tying run on a groundout. He drove in three runs in the game despite striking out in his first two at-bats.

“Brian came up clutch,” Valencia centerfielder A.J. Balta said. “He got his pitch. He handled it. He did what he’s supposed to do with that pitch, outside, drive it the other way.”

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