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Warriors wrap up District 30-4A baseball title

By BY CLAY WHITTINGTON - CWHITTINGTON@VICAD.COM
April 18, 2012 at midnight
Updated April 17, 2012 at 11:18 p.m.

Victoria East's Cole Urban attempts to tag out a sliding Garrett Rother during Tuesday's game at Riverside Stadium.

All was relatively quiet on the scoreboard for the first three and a half innings.

Then there was an offensive explosion in the crosstown rivalry game between Victoria West and Victoria East.

Needing a win to clinch the District 30-4A championship, the Warriors, who gave up just one run on one hit through the first three innings, slipped into a five-run hole, 5-0, after allowing the Titans to score four times in the fourth inning.

But West responded by recording eight runs over the next three innings to defeat the Titans by a run, 8-7, at Riverside Stadium to complete the season sweep of rival Victoria East.

It was the third consecutive win for the Warriors since teammate Austin Davis died unexpectedly last week.

For a while, it did not appear as if West would continue its undefeated run through district.

The Titans struck first as Hunter Perkins hit a RBI single to score Gabe Verduzco, giving East a 1-0 lead after the first inning.

East padded its cushion in the fourth inning, when John Garcia hit a stand up double to score Perkins and an error allowed Dylan Rab to cross home plate.

But the Titans were not done yet.

Freshman second baseman Jonathan Ortega hit a two-RBI single to score Ryan Galvan and Tim Gleinser, giving East a 5-0 advantage heading into the fifth inning.

The Warriors got on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth, but they needed a little help to do so.

East pitcher John Garcia hit the first two batters he faced in the inning, and then walked the next two before being replaced by Ryan Williams. The pitching change did not alter the Titans' fortune, however, as Williams balked twice, scoring two runners.

Before its half of the inning was over, West tied the contest 5-5.

One inning later, the Warriors (14-7, 8-0) claimed their first lead, 6-5, on Jayce Serrano's sacrifice fly to score Miles Manning. Michael Mikulenka scored another run on an error and, after being shut out through four innings, West took a two-run advantage, 7-5, into the bottom of the sixth.

The lead would not hold, though, as Ortega sent a pitch flying over West first baseman Colin Payne's head for a two-run triple to knot the score 7-7.

West would reclaim the lead once again in the top seventh inning as another East error allowed Zachary Valenzuela to score, giving the Warriors an 8-7 lead that held for the remainder of the contest.

East (16-10, 6-2) finished the game with six errors, but West had problems of its own it was forced to overcome. The Warriors left a total of 14 runners stranded in the win.

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