West baseball snaps district losing streak
March 28, 2013 at 10 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2013 at 10:29 p.m.
Victoria West had built a 17-game district win streak before Victoria East ended it with a 6-4 decision two weeks ago.
Thursday night at Riverside Stadium the Warriors ended a four-game losing streak to district opponents with a 2-0 victory over Gregory-Portland (17-6-1, 4-2).
"It was very important tonight. We're trying to get back in the playoff hunt," West head coach Manuel Alvarado said. "It was good to have a great game and come out with the win.
"We put it together tonight and had a complete game from everybody."
The Warriors played small ball at the plate and solid defense in the field, going the full seven innings without an error and not allowing a runner past second base.
"That's great. It keeps you in a ballgame," Alvarado said of the errorless performance. "It keeps our pitcher confident and allows him to throw strikes knowing his defense will make the play behind him. We've given up some games because of defense this year, and this was good to see us play solid defense."
Both sides combined for 11 hits in the game, but it was senior Cory Willemin's pitching that was the difference.
Willemin (2-3) gave up six hits and one walk, but struck out eight batters, including the game's first two and last two batters. His counterpart, Travis Geiser, threw 119 pitches and gave up five hits to the Warriors with six walks and three strikeouts.
"This was probably my best outing," Willemin said. "I got the shutout, and my stuff was working. I was just hitting my spots, and the defense played great behind me."
"He's put us in good opportunities all year," Alvarado said of Willemin. "Tonight he really came out and did a great job for us."
Despite tallying just five hits on the night, West was still able to have at least one batter get on base in each inning. The Warriors moved runners around the base paths with mostly sacrifice flies and bunts.
That's not to say there wasn't any power shots in Thursday night's game.
In the bottom of the third, West junior Jack Riggs pulled a line drive to right field that reached the wall with only one bounce. Riggs' double allowed Grant McDaniel to score from second base.
West's second run came in the bottom of the sixth when, after the two first two batters were walked by Geiser, Jaden Lewis drilled a pitch through the middle of Gregory-Portland's defense that scored Shane Kallman.
The win keeps West's playoff hopes alive, but getting into the post season once again won't be as easy with matchups remaining on the schedule against each of the District 30-4A opponents.
"We're still in the hunt for the playoffs," Willemin said. "We still have a fighting chance."