Los Angeles Preps: Trey Williams

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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The L.A. North baseball nine

March, 18, 2012
The high school baseball season started a couple weeks ago with a few area teams beginning league play last week. The L.A. North region has some talented teams, including the reigning City Section champions at San Fernando High School. Harvard-Westlake has one of the most dangerous pitching staffs in Southern California. Valencia has one of the most potent offenses. Here is a look at the L.A. North nine, in alphabetical order, the teams to watch in the 2012 season:
  1. Alemany (7-1-1), ranked No. 1 in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 poll, has an ace in Cody Thompson and will challenge Harvard-Westlake for the Mission League championship. Thompson threw five shut-out innings against Dos Pueblos in a 3-0 win on Tuesday. He has given up one run in his first 22 innings.
  2. Buena (8-1), ranked No. 10 in the Southern Section Division 2 poll, is coming off a 6-5 win over Santa Barbara. Senior shortstop Corey Dodge is hitting .680 with five doubles and seven RBIs in the first nine games of the season.
  3. Harvard-Westlake (7-2-1), the fourth-ranked team in the Southern Section Division 2 poll, swept Crespi in Mission League play last week. Starter Max Fried, who had 10 strikeouts in his team’s 3-1 win over Crespi on Friday, will be expected to carry the load for Harvard-Westlake after fellow starter and equally touted Lucas Giolito will have to sit out the season with an injured elbow.
  4. Malibu (7-1), the No. 7 team in the Southern Section Division 4 poll, won its first seven games of the season, including a doubleheader sweep of Channel Islands on March 10. The team is batting .388 and five players are hitting .444 or better. Senior infielder Jordan Simons leads the team with a .567 batting average.
  5. Newbury Park (6-1), the No. 9 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, has won four games in a row including its first two in Marmonte League play against Moorpark. Starter Luke Eubank is 3-0 with a 1.00 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 21 innings.
  6. San Fernando (6-2), the reigning City Section champion, has found an ace in sophomore Alonzo Garcia. He threw a one-hitter against Banning and improved to 3-0 last week. Garcia has a 0.73 ERA with 29 strikeouts in 24 innings.
  7. Simi Valley (6-1), the No. 8 team in the Southern Section Division 1 poll, has possibly the best player in the Marmonte League in senior shortstop Cody Ramer. He hit .470 with five home runs and 25 RBIs in 30 games as a junior.
  8. Valencia (5-1), ranked No. 4 in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 poll, has won four Foothill League championships in a row. The Vikings started league with a dominating, 13-5, win over Golden Valley, but lost to West Ranch, 2-1, on Friday. Valencia has three of the top hitters in Southern California in Trey Williams, AJ Balta and Brian Mundell. Balta, a junior, hit .425 with 11 home runs and 25 RBIs in his sophomore season.
  9. West Ranch (5-1-1) already has a few signature wins early in the season. The Wildcats drew first blood against Foothill League rival Valencia, 2-1, on Friday. Starter JC Cloney shut down the potent Valencia offense, giving up only three hits and striking out 11. West Ranch also beat Alemany, 4-3, in the Easton Tournament, and Chatsworth, 7-6.

LA North: Baseball notes

May, 12, 2011
The Westlake baseball team won an extremely competitive Marmonte League with a 15-2 win over Agoura.

Westlake’s win, coupled with a Newbury Park 8-7 loss to Simi Valley, gives the Warriors a one-game lead in league with one game to play. The Marmonte League season finales are on Friday.

Luke Dykstra hit a grand slam to pace Westlake over Agoura.

Simi Valley scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to beat Newbury Park, which came out of nowhere to be the biggest challenger to Westlake for the league title.

Nick Vigo homered and Dylan Alexander drove in three runs for Simi Valley, which wound up in second place in the Marmonte League standings.

Dane Tucker was 4-for-4 for Newbury Park. Simi Valley and Newbury Park have 9-5 league records, but Simi Valley holds the tie-breaker.

In other Marmonte League games, Thousand Oaks beat Calabasas, 8-5. Royal of Simi Valley beat Moorpark, 8-5, and won its school record 11th game in a row.

Foothill League: Valencia beat Canyon, 8-5, and won at least a share of the Foothill League championship. Trey Williams and AJ Balta each hit two-run home runs. Shane Zeile also homered and Alex Bishop had three hits.

Hart beat Golden Valley, 7-4, and is a game behind Valencia with one game to play in league. Garrett Gooding capped a five-run second inning for Hart with a bases-loaded double that drove in three runs.

West Ranch beat Saugus, 5-3.

West Valley League: Chatsworth won the league championship with a 6-2 win over Birmingham. But Woodland Hills Taft made a mess of the league standings with a 12-0 win over El Camino Real.

With the win, Taft created a three-way tie for third place in the league standings. Taft has wins over Chatsworth and El Camino. It will be interesting to see where Taft is seeded in the playoffs, certainly a team no one wants to face in the first round.

Taft starter Zach Friedman threw a three-hitter and was 3-for-3 at the plate against El Camino. Jerry Barrajas drove in three runs.

Chatsworth starter Angel Rodriguez went the distance against Birmingham, striking out seven. Steve Karkenny and Raul Camas each hit RBI doubles.

Granada Hills beat Cleveland of Reseda, 6-5. Kurt Mateko hit a home run. Cleveland, Birmingham and Taft are tied for third place in league. El Camino is a game ahead of those three teams in second place.

Valley Mission League: Granada Hills Kennedy stayed undefeated in league with a 3-1 win over San Fernando.

Kennedy starter Alberto Flores took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. He gave up a lead-off triple to David Garcia that broke up the no-hitter. Flores struck out five and walked none to finish with a one-hitter.

Andrew Pacleb and David Gutierrez each had RBI singles for Kennedy. Brandon Ortiz drove in Kennedy’s other run with a squeeze bunt.

Kennedy (11-0 in league) has a one-game lead over San Fernando (10-1 in league), which lost its first league game of the season. Kennedy and San Fernando play again on Friday. All-City pitchers Ryan Cruz for Kennedy and David Lira for San Fernando are scheduled to start.

LA North: Game of the week: Alemany vs. Oaks Christian

September, 1, 2010

Alemany quarterback Vernon Adams makes no apologies for losing to Oaks Christian last year. He was making his first start at quarterback as a junior and took his lumps a little bit.

Oaks Christian won the game, 28-17, on Alemany’s field.

The two teams meet again to open the 2010 high school football season Friday night at Oaks Christian High School. Adams is back at quarterback for Alemany and he is looking for redemption.

“I want to win. They beat us last year on this field,” Adams said. “So this year we have to go to their field and we owe them. It’s payback. I’m really excited and I want to win.”

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