Baseball (4-2) took down Valley Center High School (1-5) 8-2 at home, maintaining an early lead throughout.
The Falcons took advantage of Valley Center’s unsuccessful pitching and numerous passed balls to take extra bases and gain momentum that lasted throughout the game.
CJ Stubbs (12) got the Falcons on the board first with a sacrifice fly in which second baseman Tommy Baronner (12) tagged up from third to score.
“We played really well as a team,” Stubbs said. “We put up a lot of runs. The pitchers did well [and] stayed down, and got their primary hitters out.”
TPHS kept the lead by shutting out the Jaguars through the third inning, going up 2-0. The Falcons maintained a strong defense and backed up pitcher Sandy Plashkes (11) by making routine plays.
“We’re pretty sound fundamentally, and we’ve had a pretty good year defensively,” TPHS head coach Kirk McCaskill said. “So offensively, we just need to stay gritty. The key is always playing good, fundamental baseball.”
The Falcons continued to widen the gap in the bottom of the fourth, when they went up 6-0.
“Their pitcher came in the game with a 9.33 ERA so we were looking to pull up a big number and luckily we did,” Stubbs said.
The Valley Center pitching quickly began to deteriorate, allowing TPHS to be aggressive on the base paths and move the runners home through steals on passed balls. A series of singles brought in a run, and a bases-loaded double by Stubbs brought in two more runners to secure a healthy Falcon lead. According to assistant varsity coach Matt Sheely, the double was the “turning point” of the game.
“We all knew it was going to be tough [because] Torrey Pines is always tough,” Valley Center head coach Ron Sisler said. “We almost got as many hits as they did, but you have to score runs. You get a lot of guys on base, and that’s going to kill you.”
The Jaguars finally got on the board in the top of the fifth, bringing in two runs with a bases-loaded single. However, the short breakthrough proved to be the end of the Valley Center momentum for the game, and the Jaguars never posed a serious threat to the Falcons. Despite bringing in a relief pitcher in the fifth inning, Valley Center did not bring the necessary offense to make a comeback.
“We definitely played well today,” Baronner said. “Not as well as we should have, you know, we beat them by a good amount, but it should have been a 20-run game.”
The Falcons sealed their lead and the win with a final run, spurred by a double down the left field line by Baronner in the bottom of the sixth.
“This is a big game for us because we can take this game and really propel from here and use the momentum for the rest of the season,” Stubbs said.
Stubbs and Baronner led the team with two doubles, and Baronner also went 4 for 4, while Stubbs added the off-the-wall ball with bases loaded to his performance.
“The guys came in with a great approach today,” Sheely said. “It was great situational hitting, and it allowed us to score runs.”
The Falcons will play at El Camino High School in Oceanside today.