Orange League Baseball : Valencia Rolls Past Magnolia, 12-3, Shares League Title With Western

Valencia High School scored six runs in the first inning and rolled past Magnolia, 12-3, Friday in their final regular-season Orange League baseball game at Valencia.

The victory was Valencia's 12th in the last 14 games. It gives the Tigers (15-6-1, 11-3-1) a share of the league championship--their second in a row and third in the last four years--with Western, which defeated Anaheim, 7-4, Friday evening.

Valencia will enter the Southern Section 3-A playoffs as the league's No. 1 team after winning a coin toss. This was necessary because the Tigers and Pioneers split two of the three games they played, with the third ending in a tie.

"A championship is a championship is a championship," Kevin McConnell, Valencia coach, said. "It doesn't matter if we have it alone or share it with Western, it's still a championship."

Valencia established its dominance of Magnolia (8-14-1, 6-8-1) in the first inning. With one out, Robert Navarette singled to right and scored on Mike Edwards' double. Keef Leasure then singled in Edwards and advanced to third on Anthony Davis' hit-and-run single.

Winning pitcher Rudy Lopez (2-0) followed Davis with a single to right to score Leasure. Magnolia starter John Straits (0-2) then walked John Daugherty to load the bases and hit Sam Lopez with a pitch to force in Davis.

Randy Roskelly flied to center fielder Tony Treul and Rudy Lopez scored from third. Second baseman Tony Guajardo took Treul's relay throw, but threw wildly to third trying to retire Daugherty, who was trying to advance from second. The errant throw allowed Daugherty to score the Tigers' sixth run of the inning.

With one out in the second, Valencia's Mike Edwards walked and stole second and third. After Leasure grounded to first, Davis hit what appeared to be an inning-ending fly ball to right fielder Kevin Schleet. Schleet, however, dropped the ball and Edwards scored.

Magnolia scored twice in the fourth on Kris Walsh's two-run homer, but the Tigers came back with three runs in the fourth on Nacho Garcia's two-run single and Rudy Lopez's run-scoring double.

Lopez, who pitched the first four innings and finished the game in center field, allowed 2 runs on 6 hits. Navarette allowed 1 run on 2 hits in his two-inning stint, and Edwards gave up one hit as he pitched the final inning.

"Our kids have done a great job throughout the season," McConnell said. "We've been scoring a lot of runs. Our defense has come through with some sparkling plays, and we have gotten the pitching when we've needed it."

Western 7, Anaheim 4--The victory gives Western (11-3-1 in league) a share of the Orange League title with Valencia, but as a result of a coin toss, the Pioneers will be the league's No. 2 representative to the 4-A playoffs. Anaheim (13-11-0, 9-6-0) advances as the league's No. 3 team. Anaheim won just four games last season and is making its first playoff appearance in eight years.

Savanna 12, Brea-Olinda 11--Bill Nicoloff was 4 for 4 with 3 RBIs to lead Savanna, which got 14 hits, at Brookhurst Park. Savanna finishes its season 8-16-2 and 4-10. Brea (4-20-1, 2-12-1) was led by Aaron Charlton, who was 3 for 4 and had 2 RBIs.

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