“He did a nice job for us,” said Deer Valley Manager Dennis Luquet. “We helped get him a little bit of a lead early in the game. I think we had five hits in the first inning. Kind of messed up on the bases; could have had a few more runs. But I thought we came out and swung the ball well against their freshman pitcher (Dante Mayes).”
Deer Valley scored two runs in the first and another four in the second inning, allowing Eagle to relax on the mound and do the job he’s been doing all season with a 9-1 record and 1.13 ERA (as of last week). “Our pitching’s carried us,” said Luquet. “He set the school record last year with 10 wins. We have to get something out of the other guys. Michael Leal’s done well, but he’s tiring out a little bit now – it’s a long season being a pitcher and a catcher. It’s tough for him.”
Through last week, Deer Valley would be undefeated in league play if not for Heritage, which has beaten the Wolverines in their first two encounters. The Freedom win boosted the Wolverines’ league record to 7-2 (13-4 overall), putting them on track to do even better than last year’s 10-5 league (20-7 overall) finish in which they made it to the NCS semifinals, losing to Freedom.
Marquis Cox and Thomas Riley “have both been doing a great job of getting on base for us and giving our other guys a chance to knock in some RBIs,” said Luquet. “The bottom of the lineup there are guys who have done well. (Michael) Lanter has done really well and (Tyler) Vistali.”
Asked to assess his chances for the rest of the season, Luquet said, “I have been watching San Ramon and Foothill and Amador and De La Salle. I think Heritage is as good as any of those teams and might be better than most of them. And we’re a little bit behind Heritage right now. We have to show we can beat a good team.”
Deer Valley will have another opportunity to beat a good team when it hosts Berkeley on Monday, May 10. In the meantime, the Wolverines played at Pittsburg on Tuesday and Antioch on Thursday. Their next league game is Tuesday, May 11 at Liberty. Freedom hosted Antioch on Tuesday and Liberty on Thursday. Its next game is Tuesday, May 11 at Heritage.