By Fred J. Robledo, SGVN, twitter@sgvtribpreps
When Northview High School was winning five straight Valle Vista League titles, which included a CIF-SS Divisional title in 2008, the Vikings’ baseball team always did it with pitching, defense and timely hitting.
The Vikings are starting to get back to those principles after having their league championship-streak ended last year in a miserable 12-14 season that ended in the first round of the CIF playoffs.
Northview completed a Valle Vista League sweep over Baldwin Park this week, winning 9-3 on Friday to go with its 1-0 win earlier in the week.
The Vikings improved to 6-1-1 and 3-0 in the VVL and have allowed three runs or less in six of their eight games. (To continue click thread)
Valle Vista League
Northview 9, Baldwin Park 3
San Dimas 2, Wilson 1
South Hills 15, Ayala 2
Damien 21, Chino Hills 7
Claremont 6, Charter Oak 1
Del Rey League
Bishop Amat 6, La Salle 2
Duarte 6, Bassett 5
Inland Insider with highlights from South Hills’ 15-2 win over Ayala
Northview junior pitcher DJ Howard earned the victory giving up three runs in six innings with Adrian Sabatino finishing the seventh.
“That’s always been the hallmark of our teams and maybe we cut some corners and got away from it last year,” Vikings coach Darren Murphy said of the Vikings’ defense and pitching. “Last year was the worst year we’ve had in 10 years but we’re slowly getting back.
“We started a team today with five sophomores and four juniors, so we feel like there are better days ahead of us.”
With the score tied 1-1 and Baldwin Park catcher Tim Wells throwing out two runners trying to steal in the fourth, and throwing another out going to third in the fifth, the Vikings finally broke it open in the sixth with eight runs.
After Nick Ybarra’s double drove in two runs to make it 5-1, Dominic Baca punctuated the big inning with a three-run homer to left to make it 8-1.
Murphy wasn’t pleased with how they ran themselves out of so many scoring opportunities, but he focused on the positives.
“I told our kids it was a hard game to be happy with as a coach, but you can’t be too stubborn with league wins,” Murphy said. “At the end of the day it’s a league win and that’s what you’re trying to do.
“We survived because our pitching and defense has been great all year.”
As great as Northview has been on the mound, Murphy is hoping the nine runs is a sign of things to come.
The Vikings have struggled scoring, winning two games by 1-0 results.
“I was kidding with our principal and telling him that in these tough economic times we’re not bringing out our new bats yet,” Murphy joked. “We know our sticks need to come around and we’re hoping they will a little later in league when we have to go through San Dimas and Covina.”
Baldwin Park’s Eddie Gutierrez finished with two hits and two runs scored, which included a double. The Braves dropped to 4-5-1 and 0-2 in the Valle Vista.