Warriors blow up Rockets, take one-game lead in bi-district series
May 3, 2012 at 12:03 a.m.
Updated May 9, 2012 at 12:09 a.m.
Jayce Serrano had a confession to make after hitting a three-run home run in Victoria West's playoff opener.
"That was my first one ever," Serrano said. "Not even Little League or anything, never."
Serrano's first homer couldn't have come at a better time for the Warriors.
The blast over the left-field fence sparked a nine-run third inning and lifted West to a 14-0 Class 4A bi-district win over San Antonio Kennedy in game stopped after 4½ innings because of the 10-run mercy rule on Thursday night at Riverside Stadium.
The Warriors improved to 17-8 and took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three game series. West will attempt to wrap up the series on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Kennedy. If the Rockets (14-11) win, Game 3 will follow Game 2.
"We hit the ball hard," said West coach Manuel Alvarado. "At the end of the game, they were talking about how hard we hit the ball. It's a good thing for our kids. The hard work they put in the weight room shows out here."
The Warriors had nine hits, including five for extra bases. Zach Valenzuela tripled and doubled, Mike Mikulenka and Blake Staff each doubled.
West sent 13 batters to the plate in the third inning and nine in the fourth when they added three runs.
"We got runners on base and I knocked them around and we just kept going after that," Serrano said. "We got guys going."
The Warriors offense was a bonus for Miles Manning and Shane Kallman, who combined on a no-hitter with seven strikeouts.
The only base runner for Kennedy was Erick Montes, who led off the game with a walk. He went to third on errant pickoff throw, but was stranded.
"That mound was a little higher," Manning said. "I just had to get used to it and I was fine after that."
Alvarado said he pulled Manning in case he needs him Saturday when Kennedy is expected to throw its No. 1 starter.
"Baseball's a funny thing and you don't know what can happen Saturday," Alvarado said. "We got the run support and tonight was just like a bullpen for Miles so if we need him Saturday, he's ready to go."
Manning was aware he was pitching a no-hitter, but didn't object to the move.
"I knew," he said. "But just get Shane some work in."
The Warriors did what they needed in Game 1 and want to maintain their momentum in Game 2.
"I was just trying to stay back on the ball and square up on it as much as I could and hit it as hard as I could," Serrano said. "We keep hitting the ball and it makes all the difference."
Class 4A Bi-District
Victoria West 14, S.A. Kennedy 0
Kennedy 000 00 - 0 0 5
West 209 3x - 14 9 1
Abel Rodriguez, Isiah Garcia (3) and Mark Pruneda. Miles Manning, Shane Kallman (5) and A.J. Kuester. W: Manning. L: Rodriguez. HR: Jayce Serrano (3-run). 3B: (W) Zach Valenzuela. 2B: (W) Mike Mikulenka, Blake Staff, Valenzuela. Highlights: Manning 4 IP, 0 H, 1 BB, 5 K;Valenzuela 3 for 4, 3B, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBIs, SB; Staff 2 for 2, 2B, R, RBI, (W) Records: Kennedy 14-11; West 17-8. Note: West leads series 1-0. Game 2, Saturday, 1 p.m., at Kennedy. Game 3, if necessary, to follow Game 2.