Pitching was decent this past Saturday for the Sun Valley 16-18-year-old baseball team, but it was really hitting that was the backbone of the Sunnyside team's 6-5 victory over the visiting Yakima Peppers.
The two teams will hook-up again today (Monday) at 4 p.m. at the high school baseball field.
"Our motto is the harder we work in the summer the further we are Feb. 27," said Sun Valley Coach Dave Martinez, referring to how he is trying to prepare his summer players for the start of the spring high school baseball season next year. Martinez is also the Sunnyside High School baseball coach.
With the exception of six walks, Sun Valley starting pitcher Timmy Briones looked solid. Briones have up three hits and had four strikeouts in five innings of work.
"They weren't able to adjust to his off speed stuff," said Martinez.
Joel Zakahi pitched in relief for Sun Valley, tossing two innings. Zakahi gave up four hits, but two were bunt singles and another was a bloop shot to right field. Martinez said Zakahi looked as good on the mound as he did during the regular high school baseball season. Of the two runs scored by the Peppers off Zakahi only one was earned.
All three of Sun Valley's errors came in the top of the sixth, when the Peppers scored four runs. The Peppers could only muster one run in the top of the seventh.
Sun Valley got going early in the game, plating two runs in the bottom of the second and another in the third.
Sun Valley plated three runs in the sixth inning, which included an RBI double from Joel Zakahi and a two-run double from Dane Schmick.
Nathan Cornelius had an outstanding afternoon at the plate for Sun Valley in the lead-off spot, going 3-for-4 at the plate.
"He is the guy we are grooming to be our lead-off batter (next spring sports season)," said Martinez.
Martinez said it was a solid summer season opener for his team, despite the late errors that nearly cost Sun Valley. Martinez said what was key for Sun Valley was that it was able to do the little things that were needed to be done to win a game, such as solid pitching and timely hits.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Peppers0 0 0 0 0 4 1 5 7 2
SV 0 2 1 0 3 0 x 6 9 3
Pitching-Timmy Briones four strikeouts, three hits, six walks in five innings. Joel Zakahi four hits in two innings.
Hitting-Dane Schmick 1-for-1 with a two-run double in the fifth. Gibby Briones 1-for-2. Joel Zakahi 1-for-3 with an RBI double in the fifth inning. Diego Burgueno, Timmy Briones and B.J. Miller were all 1-for-3. Nathan Cornelius 3-for-4.