Pioneers’ pitching axes Miners at the plate

Mt. Whitney’s precise pitching and fine fielding control the game in 9-2 win over El Diamante

VISALIA – The Pioneers’ pitching and defense controlled the game against the Miners to get their first league win of the season and pull them back to a .500 record.

Mt. Whitney controlled the mound and the plate on March 24 in a dominating 9-2 win over El Diamante. Leading the Pioneers was JT Guerero who pitched a complete game and brought the heat from the start, both on the mound and at the plate. With one man on first in the first inning, Guerero smacked the ball to right field sending his teammate home and putting Guerero in scoring position at third base. A final short hit from Eddie Vinegas brought Guerero home giving the Pioneers the offensive momentum they carried throughout the game.

The Pioneers held the Miners scoreless until the top of the third. El Diamante’s Daniel Coronado and Caleb Silva’s consecutive hits landed Coronado on third base and Silva on first. Silva stole second but more importantly drew attention away from Coronado who leapt over Mt. Whitney’s catcher to steal home to manufacture a run in amazing fashion for the Miners.

Despite the highlight, Mt. Whitney held onto their lead over El Diamante the entire game. The Pioneers weren’t even letting the Miners get their feet on the ground, almost every El Diamante player that got a hit on the ball was out before they were even halfway to first. El Diamante managed to add one more run in the top of the fourth inning while the Pioneers secured runs in all but two innings.

“We got a lot of work to do but I feel like we’ve got some of the best coaches in the valley,” Mt. Whitney’s Jordan VaSteeg said. 

The Pioneers’ Zach Mell was on fire at the plate. After he had secured first base El Diamante made an attempt to take him out but the Miner’s first baseman missed the ball and Mell went to third. The El Diamant catcher missed a ball from his own pitcher and Mell continued to take advantage of the game,taking his chance at running to home plate. The risk was worth the reward, the Miners mishap allowed the Pioneers to add Mell’s run to the board. 

“Today we played really great as a team after a big slump the last few games,” said Mell as Mt. Whitney entered the game 0-2 in league and just 5-6 overall. The team could feel the momentum in the game as the Pioneers’ dugout chatted up support for their players the entire game.

This season isn’t over yet for either team as matter of fact it has just begun. Both teams will face off against the Redwood Rangers this week. The Pioneers will play their cross town rival at home on Thursday, March 31 while the Miners crossed town to face Redwood on their home turf on Tuesday, March 29. Results of the game happened after press time.

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