Suddenly streaking El Rancho is right back in DRL playoff hunt

With just four games left in the regular season, the baseball team from El Rancho has gotten itself into position for third place in the Del Rio League.
The Dons (8-13, 3-4) moved into a third-place tie in the DRL last week by sweeping Santa Fe, but they hold the tiebreaker with the Chiefs by winning two of three head-to-head meetings. They’ll play Pioneer twice this week and Whittier twice next week to close out the season.
El Rancho has won three of its last four DRL games after a 0-3 start, which coach Frank Llanes attributes to his young squad finally settling down.
“We’re starting to play mistake-free baseball,” Llanes said. “… We were not playing smooth and easy (early), and now it seems like we’ve relaxed a little bit.”
The Dons began their comeback with a 2-0 victory over first-place Cal, and competed very well later in the week in a 2-1 loss to the Condors.
“That was an important week for us,” said Llanes. “We had to prove to ourselves that we could compete with the top teams. … We had a chance to (win) both.”
The victories over Santa Fe were each by one run, 11-10 and 2-1. In the first meeting, the Dons trailed by two runs with two outs in the seventh and no one on base. But second baseman Johnny Banuelos cut the margin to one with a solo home runs, and Ryan Palomar followed with a bloop single, what Llanes called “our most important hit of the year.” Justin Gonzalez then hit a two-run home run for the winning margin. Junior right-hander Justin Vizcarra earned the victory with three excellent innings of relief.

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