Baseball: Rangers clinch WYL title with win over Miners

Head coach Dan Hydash wins his six West Yosemite League title with comeback 10-7 win against El Diamante

VISALIA – Redwood secured the West Yosemite League championship with a win against El Diamante last week.

On May 5, the Rangers defeated the Miners 10-7, giving them a three game lead over the El Diamante and Hanford, tied for second place, with just two games left in the season. Coming into last week’s final matchup between the two teams, El Diamante was riding a lot of momentum after their 10-3 win against the Rangers just two days prior.

Redwood was well aware that they were one game away from clinching the WYL title. The Miners came out very hot in the first two innings and led 5-1 heading into the third inning.

The Rangers clawed their way back from the deficit by scoring a run in the third and two runs in the fourth to get within one score of the Miners, 5-4. Redwood would catch fire in the fifth scoring 5 runs to make the score 9-5 with the Rangers in control. Both squads would score a run in the 6th inning and the Miners would score one more in the 7th. Redwood would go on to win 10-7. 

Winning the WYL title is huge in itself but winning the league against your former school is special. Senior center fielder Brody Block, who attended El Diamante before moving to Redwood, went 4-4 against his former team, racking up two runs, and four RBI. Block said he was just focused on winning the title and not on the team he was facing.

“It felt good after what happened in the second inning. I knew we had to keep hitting to come back,” Block said. “I just really wanted to win and secure the WYL.” 

Starting pitcher Joey Volchko threw seven strikeouts through five innings pitched. He said the win felt great after losing to the Miners earlier in the week.

“It felt good to show them what we’re really about because what we showed on Tuesday wasn’t our normal style of play,” Volchko said.

With playoffs right around the corner, this was a huge confidence boosting win for Redwood.

El Diamante outfielder Trevor Hampel said it was a tough loss, but it was an ultra competitive matchup that entertained the fans.

“Thursday was a tough game but a good game because both teams played really well,” Hampel said. “Both teams minimized errors and both teams hit well, but sadly Redwood just hit the ball and threw more strikes than us.” 

The league title was the sixth for Redwood head coach Dan Hydash, who said he understands this is a big milestone for him and his team. He hopes this will give them confidence heading into the playoffs next week. 

“I am proud of the guys,” Hydash said. “Hopefully the momentum from Thursday night will give us the boost we need going into playoffs”

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