RICHLAND - Baseball is a simple game in concept. It involves playing defense, pitching and hitting. The Sun Valley 16-18-year-old baseball team excelled in all three areas in yesterday's doubleheader route of a Richland squad.
Sun Valley won the first game of the doubleheader 9-1 behind the commanding arm of Tyler Esqueda, who tossed a three-hitter. Sun Valley completed the sweep with a 12-3 six-inning whipping in the nightcap.
"Our kids did a good job of not trying to play down (to the level of the other team)," said Sun Valley Coach Dave Martinez. "Our pitchers pitched like they should when we have a lead."
In the opener, Richland managed one unearned run in the bottom of the first off Esqueda. Esqueda twirled a solid game for Sun Valley, striking out seven, giving up three hits and allowing only three walks.
"He had a good outing for himself," said Martinez.
Martinez said Esqueda was able to establish his fast ball and curve ball early in the game.
Sun Valley had six hits in the game, led by another noteworthy performance at the plate from Chris Newberry, who 2-for-3. Richland only gave up four walks in the opener. Martinez said his team did a good job of stealing bases and laying down bunts to move runners around.
"We had timely hits," said Martinez.
Sun Valley started the game off with three-run burst in the top of the first. A sacrifice fly by Derek Uberuaga plated Cole Boboth, who led off the game with a walk. Eric Crimp then hit into a groundout to the shortstop who was playing deep. On the play, Newberry came around to score. Esqueda later scored off a passed ball.
Sun Valley added lone tallies in the third and fourth innings. In the fifth and seventh innings, Sun Valley scored a pair of runs each frame.
One area Martinez would like to see improvement on is the errors. Sun Valley had four errors in the game, but nothing that really cost the local diamond squad.
Sun Valley exploded in the second game with a six-run outburst in the top of the first. Sun Valley added three more runs in the second and three in the fifth. In the fifth inning Timmy Briones, who helped pace Sun Valley with a 2-for-3 effort, had an RBI double. Briones later scored off an error by Richland's third baseman on a ball put into play by Jessie Ramirez. Ramirez ended up at second base on the play and scored after a passed ball and a ground out.
Joel Zakahi tossed the first five innings for Sun Valley in the nightcap and rebounded nicely after giving up three runs in a shaky first inning. Zakahi finished with four strikeouts and allowed just two hits. He also gave up three walks and had two hit batters. Briones tossed a commanding sixth inning to finish the game, allowing only one walk while fanning one.
Sun Valley (5-2) will play a team from Selah this Thursday at a tournament at East Valley High School beginning at 10 a.m.
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
SV 3 0 1 1 2 0 2 9 6 4
Richland 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3 3
Pitching: Tyler Esqueda three hits, three walks, seven strikeouts in a complete game.
Hitting: Tyler Esqueda 1-for-2. Chris Newberry 2-for-3. Eric Crimp 1-for-3 with a double in the seventh inning. Joel Zakahi 1-for-3. Timmy Briones 1-for-4.
1 2 3 4 5 6 T H E
SV 6 3 0 0 3 0 12 10 2
Richland 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 2 8
Pitching: Joel Zakahi four strikeouts, three walks, two hits, two hit batters in five innings. Timmy Briones one strikeout, one walk in one inning.
Hitting: Timmy Briones 2-for-3 with a double in the fifth inning. Jessie Ramirez 2-for-3 with a double in the first inning. Tyler Cullen 1-for-3. Eric Crimp 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Derek Uberuaga 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Cole Boboth 1-for-4.