Northview, getting a solid outing from Ruben Ramirez, above, took a major step
towards a fourth Valle Vista League title with a 4-3 victory over San Dimas on Thursday.
Northview just continues to deliver, and now they are getting the production for the most unlikely of candidates.
Catcher and No. 9 hitter Arman Valenzuela hit Erik Salcido’s first pitch for home run with one out in the ninth inning and the Vikings took a major step towards their fourth consecutive Valle Vista League title with a 4-3 victory over the visiting Saints in a battle of two of the top three teams the area on Thursday.
Northview, getting a solid 3 1/3 innings of relief from Eddie Pedroza, improved to 15-4 overall and took over first place with a 9-1 league record. San Dimas, which got a two-run home run from Matt Thrall to tie it at 3 in the sixth, slipped to 15-5, 9-2.
Northview closes the regular season with home-and-home series against Ganesha and Covina and a home game against Pomona.
Northview coach Darren Murphy: “You don’t really expect your (No. 9) hitter to hit the walk-off homerun to win it, but we like storybook endings. I’m not much an author. I’ll take it whatever way it happens.
“Sometimes, it’s better to be the team (that does the catching), because when you do, you have all that momentum going. But I feel like we let a three-run lead go. I think for the most part, they had the momentum for about three or four innings. We were on our heels. We had to make some big plays, Eddie made some big pitches. But we escaped and got out of here, got out of here with a win. That’s a heckuva team. They are going to make a run in the playoffs, too.”
San Dimas coach Mike Regan (on his coach’s interference in the eighth): “I don’t have anything to say. I made a mistake. The kids played great and I screwed up.”
Northview’s Arman Valenzuela: I knew he was going to throw that fastball. I didn’t think he was going to leave it up, because he got me with it the last (at-bat). But he came back with that same pitch, I put a good swing on it and let it go. I was trying to get a gap hit, but I got it up and got a (homerun).”
Sierra Vista 10, Bassett 0
Azusa at Duarte, 3:15 p.m.
Workman at Gladstone, 3:15 p.m.
Valle Vista League
San Dimas at Northview, 3:15 p.m.
Pomona at Baldwin Park, 3:15 p.m.
Covina at Ganesha, 3:15 p.m.
Damien at Ayala, 3:15 p.m.
Chino 5, Diamond Bar 3
Chino Hills at Glendora, 3:15 p.m.
CIF-Southern Section Polls
Division II – 1. El Toro, 2. Yucaipa, 3. Upland, 4. Notre Dame, 5. Palos Verdes, 6. Chino, 7. Foothill, 8. Damien, 9. Arcadia, 10. San Luis Obispo
Division III – 1. Beckman, 2. Gahr, 3. Bonita, 4. Hemet, 5. South Hills, 6. Alhambra, 7. Downey, 8. Charter Oak, 9. San Gorgonio, 10. Laguna Hills.
Division IV – 1. Bishop Amat, 2. Northview, 3. San Dimas, 4. La Quinta, 5. Palm Desert, 6. Torrance, 7. Fullerton, 8. El Segundo, 9. Anaheim, 10. Colony.
Division V – 1. San Jacinto, 2. Santa Ynez, 3. Maranatha, 4. Calvary Chapel, 5. Campbell Hall, 6. Gladstone, 7. Woodcrest Christian, 8. Citrus Hills, 9. Cabrillo, 10. Linfield Christian.