It has been a strong start to the summer season for the Sun Valley 13-14-year-old baseball team.
The Sunnyside-based squad is 5-3 on the season after having picked up a couple of victories in the last week.
On Wednesday, June 1, Sun Valley routed Prosser 13-3.
Jesse St. Clair was the starting pitcher for Sun Valley, going three innings. St. Clair was charged with the three runs Prosser scored in the bottom of the third, but only one of them was earned. St. Clair finished with four strikeouts and allowed two hits and four walks. Sun Valley Coach Tyler Alseth said that St. Clair struggled with control.
Teammate Hector Mendez didn't surrender a hit in his two innings of relief pitching. He retired the side in the fourth and only one Prosser baserunner got aboard in the fifth off an error.
"He did a good job," said Alseth of Mendez.
Sun Valley opened the game with a two-run burst in the first before exploding for six runs in the second. Mendez ripped a two-run double in the fifth. Sun Valley collected another five runs in the fourth.
Sun Valley had 13 hits against Prosser. Lane Pickel was 2-for-2 while Mendez and Victor Nunez both went 2-for-3 at the plate.
On Friday, June 3, Sun Valley traveled to Richland to take on one of the five summer baseball teams the Tri-Cities area fields. Sun Valley posted a solid win over Richland No. 5, taking the game 8-4.
Richland scored all four of its runs in the first two innings off Pickel, who got the start on the mound for Sun Valley. Pickel surrendered seven hits in three innings of work while allowing two walks and collecting three strikeouts. Mendez worked three innings in relief, allowing no hits and striking out two.
"He did a great job of keeping us in the game," said Alseth.
Nunez worked the last inning, recording two strikeouts.
Sun Valley had lone tallies in the first and third innings. The big inning for the Sunnyside-area team was a four-run fifth. Corey Brundenridge and Matt Omlin had RBI singles in the fifth. St. Clair had an RBI double and Angelo Salinas hit a ball that was misplayed by Richland, allowing a run to come across. Sun Valley finished things off with a pair of runs in the sixth.
Sun Valley plays tonight at home against another Richland team at 5:30 p.m.