Hemet High’s baseball boys defeated West Valley on Seniors’ Day, 4-0
■ By Corey Evan / Sports Reporter
Crosstown rivalries can either divide a town or bring it together. Last Friday’s baseball game between Hemet High and West Valley High certainly brought the fans together at Hemet High’s Norm West Field.
It was a special day for Hemet, because eight of their players celebrated Seniors’ Day: Lucas Doyle, Danny Gomez, Daniel Heffington, Cameron Leonard, Maxwell Lundgren, Elijah Necochea, Ethan Post, and Brendon Tate all were honored with their families and friends by their side as fans looked on. Jeff Ender of Milano’s Pizza, who announces at Bulldog baseball games, read statements prepared by each of these outgoing seniors. After this sentimental moment was over and done, the two teams played ball.
In the first inning, Gomez brought in a run following a sacrifice bunt by Joel Meza and after stealing third while Leonard was at bat. The Mustangs didn’t score in this inning. Second inning was no better for the Mustangs, as Aaron Harper ran in a second run for the Bulldogs. The third inning saw Leonard bring in the third Bulldog run of the day, even after West Valley held a quick powwow on the mound to talk recovery. Hemet continued to trend upward in inning four, as Harper scored again.
With an average of one run an inning under Hemet’s belts to this point, the Mustangs needed to make a run at the ‘Dawgs. Sadly, while West Valley couldn’t do that in the fifth inning, they could say they broke Hemet’s scoring streak in the bottom of the fifth! From there, while both teams kept the ball moving, the score didn’t move any further. This secured the win 4-nil for Hemet.
Even though his Bulldogs had a rough patch this season, Coach Dave Parker is still proud of what his boys have accomplished:
“We were playing really good ball early in the season; we kind of went on a little losing streak, so we were able to turn around and win a couple of games,” said Parker. “It being senior night for these guys, it’s good to go out with a win for the seniors here at home.”
As for the Mustangs, Parker did feel bad for them a bit: “They probably haven’t had the season they wanted to have this year, but they came back; they had a rough game against us on Wednesday. I think they made seven errors in that game and bobbled the ball, but today they came out and competed well, played better defense and gave us a pretty good game of it.”
Postseason prospects are still looking good, as Parker notes his Bulldogs are tied for second place in league. Hemet is now 7-6 in league, 13-8 for the season. West Valley is 5-8 in league and 8-15 for the season.
The season, however, isn’t done yet: The Bulldogs still have one more game tomorrow afternoon against the Citrus Hill Hawks. Having already beaten them once this season 6-1, according to Parker, Hemet still has that one last chance to end the season with a proverbial “Grand Slam.”