The Deer Valley baseball team avenged its loss at Antioch earlier this season with a convincing 11-3 win over the Panthers on its home field on Tuesday afternoon, thanks in large part to a solid outing by starting pitcher Joshua Eagle and spectacular run production from the bottom of the batting order.
We swung the bat pretty good, said Deer Valley head coach Dennis Luquet. At the beginning of the game we didn't really have anything, but then all of a sudden we got it going and got some clutch hits that was nice to see.
Antioch took a 3-2 lead on a mammoth blast off the bat of junior first baseman Corey Foreman that sailed over the right field wall, but the lead was short lived.
The Wolverines erased the Antioch lead before recording their first out in the home half of the fourth inning, then broke the game open when Daniel Morton and Justin Meier put together back-to-back singles to plate an additional three runs.
Junior Nicky Pasquale was forced to work through jam after jam in an effort to spare the Panthers' depleted bullpen. The right hander, who struggled with his location throughout the game, lasted four innings and gave up six runs.
Pasquale's relief, Caleb Lusty, didn't fare any better, allowing five more runs to plate in just two innings of work. He was also victimized by Morton, who smashed a two-RBI single to left field in the fifth inning, collecting his third and fourth RBIs of the game.
Leading the Wolverine offense was Morton, who went 2-for-3 at the plate with four RBIs and a run scored. First baseman Dante Redhead and third baseman Chris Carvajal also went 2-for-3 for Deer Valley.
Joshua Eagle went the distance for Deer Valley, striking out seven and holding the Panthers scoreless after Foreman's two-run shot despite constant loud contact off the bat of Antioch hitters.
Eagle is only a sophomore, but he does a great job of competing for us even when we don't make plays in the field he just goes right back out there and competes, said Luquet. They've got some good hitters on that team and every game they score a bunch
of runs, but we knew that if he could avoid walking guys and get a few strikeouts, he'd do pretty well.
Foreman's big homer was the highlight of the day for Antioch, but certainly didn't overshadow a great game by utility man Percy Campbell Jr., who finished the day 2-for-2 with a double and walk.
Deer Valley is a good quality program. Their pitcher kept us off balance, and not to make any excuses, but after losing a big part of our team, it's hard to get these kids to believe that they can get it done without those guys, said Antioch head baseball coach Ben Juarez, explaining that the team suffered a big blow talent-wise when it lost two of its best players due to academic ineligibility and a disciplinary issue.
But my hat's off to Dennis; they have a good program. They're going to lose twice to us next year but they have a good program, joked Juarez.
Antioch will be holding a pair of alumni baseball games this Saturday, May 3, beginning at 9:30 a.m. The event will honor the school's 1984 NCS championship team and pit the current varsity players against alumni who graduated in 1980 or later, while the JV squad will take on alumni who graduated prior to 1980. Admission is free.