The Rangers, Miners can’t decide sole front runner in West Yosemite League race
Special to the Sun-Gazette
VISALIA – This previous week for Visalia baseball was an important part in the season due to the fact that it was the second to last week of league play. Redwood and El Diamante were tied for first in league going into their head-to-head series. They split the 2-game series and the rankings stay as standing.
El Diamante, 6-2 in league, pulled away with the first win on Wednesday with the final score of 5-4. Winning pitcher was Riley Creech, with pitching help from Parker Boswell, and Chance Watson in later innings. The offense for the Miners was led by Cole Yoshida who rallied two runs and a solid double play from Rider Hartman to end that first game against the Rangers.
Redwood, also 6-2, was able to use their early loss to fuel them for this next game where they had the chance to play at Rawhide Stadium. They came out on top thanks to Rico Aguirre’s walk off single to end the game, 6-5 in the bottom of the 7th. Hunter Bryan received the win with 7 strikeouts in the three innings he pitched. Bryan also rallied 2 runs and an RBI to help the Rangers out. Sam Bower closed out the game with a solid 4 innings. Bronson Chamberlin and Kaden Sorensen contributed too with 2RBI’s each.
With the championship title on the line, Aguirre stepped up to the base was an important moment in the game as was every single second of the game leading up to that point. Aguirre shared what was going through his head in this moment, “It was the most amazing experience I’ve ever had being a Redwood Ranger. I shouldn’t even be getting all the credit I’ve been getting because without Hunter getting a clutch walk to start the inning off, without Sam getting a single to get on base and advance hunter to 2nd, and without Bronson coming up huge with a RBI single to tie the game, this all would not have happened. I owe everything to those guys. This comeback win just shows how strong of a team we are and that we can bounce back from anything.”
Redwood’s win was led strongly by the seniors in the program making the most of their last few weeks playing not only for high school but baseball in general. Not for Hunter Bryan though. Bryan received a scholarship to Fresno State to play baseball when he was a sophomore and verbally committed his junior year. He was able to sign his letter of Intent last fall and is looking forward to the new opportunity next season, “I feel that the past few games have been really exciting and played in a great atmosphere and that’s what college is all about.”
Bryan along with the rest of the team still have some big games coming up before the season is officially over. Redwood enters their last week of WYL games in hopes of ending with two final wins against Mt. Whitney before playoffs. If El Diamante pulls out two wins against Golden West also, the Rangers and Miners will share the WYL Championship title. Moving forward, Bryan said, “We want to carry over the momentum of the walk off win to next week and into playoffs. We are just trying to clean up the little things and keep the energy high.”
Aguirre’s thoughts on the upcoming series included, “We are going to work very hard this week to find a way to sweep Mt. Whitney. Hopefully we get these two wins so we can stay hot going into playoffs.”