Canyon’s Hay in double figures, near league mark

first_imgJohnny Hay is three home runs shy of the Foothill League single-season record after hitting his 10th in Canyon High’s 1-0 victory Wednesday over visiting Burroughs of Burbank. Valencia’s Richie Martin set the record in 1999, when Hart’s Jamie Shields and Matt Friedrichsen hit 11. Hart’s Chris Valaika, who hit 10 in 2003, is the only other Foothill Leaguer to hit 10 or more in a season. Hay, a 5-foot-11, 190-pound right fielder who hit just five home runs the previous two seasons, has blossomed as a senior. With five games – plus playoffs – remaining, he is batting .383 with 24 RBIs, a .950 slugging percentage and seven stolen bases in 60 at-bats. He also has struck out 19 times, so he’s either homered or struck out in nearly 50 percent of his at-bats. Centurions dominate: Hart, which lost to Saugus 8-2 Wednesday, is 0-7-1 in the series since 2003. The Indians have a chance to break the streak today at 3:15 p.m. at Saugus. In Hart’s game next week against visiting Burroughs, history favors Hart. Burroughs hasn’t won on Hart’s field since 1985. To the end: It appears the league championship will come down to season’s final week. Valencia (19-3 overall, 9-1 Foothill) and Hart (14-7, 8-2) finish with a two-game series May 10 and May 12. Five games remain for most teams, and no one else is within four games of second place. The top three teams qualify for the playoffs, and at-large entries are required to finish with an .500 or better overall record. “I think it will be a good way to end the season, with two games against Hart, because it will prepare both of us for the playoffs,” Valencia coach Jared Snyder said. In the pen: Valencia closer Casey Mulligan has seven saves, tying Matt Aidem’s 2002 school record. The hard-throwing right-hander hasn’t allowed a run in eight relief innings, striking out 16. Valencia, with a 2.38 team ERA, has a group of effective pitchers. Nick Pappas is 6-0 with a 0.92 ERA, Scott Fowler is 3-2 with a 2.51 ERA, and Caleb Deville is 5-0 with a 2.80 ERA. “There’s really not one dominant guy. They’re all pretty good,” Snyder said. “It’s basically the same staff we had last year, but we’re a year older. The big thing is we’re not making errors. The kids are doing a good job of playing catch.” [email protected] (661) 257-5218160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventHay has been walked 12 times – often intentionally – but with Burroughs ace Ian Desiere pitching, Indians coach Tom Crowther said there never was a plan to walk Hay prior to his sixth-inning homer Tuesday. “Johnny had struck out five times in a row against us before that,” Crowther said. “Then when I saw the ball coming off his bat, I wasn’t thinking so much about that one mistake, but more about the missed opportunities we had earlier in the game. “We had two runners on in the first inning and two runners on in the fourth, and those missed opportunities came back to bite us.” Luckless: The loss was Desiere’s latest hard-luck decision. The senior right-hander is 1-5 but has a 3.06 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 55 innings. “Ian has got to be the best 1-5 pitcher in the CIF,” Crowther said. “The problem is we’ve got a lot of young kids, and it’s been tough to win close games because the guys press and get tight. It’s very important for us to get some runs early.” last_img read more