HS Baseball: Nighthawks, Golden Bears and Wolfpack keep it close at the top – Great Oak now #2 in the Nation, Temecula Valley close behind at #8

In what was another wacky week in Southwestern League Baseball action, Temecula Valley, Murrieta Valley and Great Oak all managed to stay on top of the leader board while Vista Murrieta, Murrieta Mesa and Chaparral managed to slip just a little further behind.

  • Temecula Valley sweeps Chaparral

The Golden Bears (15-4, 6-3) bounced back last week after dropping two games two weeks ago to cross-town rivals, Vista Murrieta (14-6, 4-5). Temecula Valley swept the three game series against the Chapparral Pumas (9-11, 2-7) with an earlier win in the season and again last week by scores of 14-3 and 11-0.

Temecula Valley’s bats couldn’t be stopped as they delivered on 25 hits, 4 of which went over the fence from Matt Poladian, AJ Sawyer, Bruce Young and David Maldonado. Poaldian and Maldonando capitalized on more than their HR’s as they also both combined for 8 hits on the week and David earned “Player of the Game’ rights for his Tuesday performance where he also hit 3 doubles in the game. Burke Mitchell picked up his fifth win of the year, while Brandon Koch picked up his fourth for the Golden Bears.

The Pumas have had a hard time finding the right answer in their lineup as they have been injury plagued since early on in the season. The Pumas offense is leading a good amount of the Southwestern league categories, including having 4 players with the top 5 batting averages and leading in overall runs scored, but they are also leading in runs against and their pitching is definitely coming up short. Tuesday Chaparral will travel for the first of their two game series to face Great Oak (16-5, 6-3) who they beat earlier in the season 3-1. Games start at 3:30.

  • Great Oak puts a stop to the Vista Murrieta Broncos wining streak

Great Oak also managed to bounce back from a bit of a lackluster week when they dropped two games to Murrieta Valley two weeks ago by taking out Vista Murrieta last week, who was ranked #2 in the state.

Thanks to a 7 run third inning Great Oak took the first game 8 – 3 and turned back around and won its second victory over the Broncos on Thursday by hanging on for a 4-3 win over the Borncos. The Pack’s starting pitcher Brad Wegman cruised through the Bronco lineup for six innings and had blanked Vista Murrieta until the seventh.

The Broncos scored three runs off the Great Oak starter and Coach Eric Morton called on reliever Mitch Hayes to put the Broncos away. Hayes responded and got the next three outs and earned the save for the Wolfpack.

Hayes also went 2-for -3 with an RBI against the Broncos, Brett Dillon had two hits, scored and knocked in one. Cory Souza also had an RBI in the game for the Wolfpack.

Bronco pitcher Jack Moberg got the loss. Hunter Tidwell got two hits for Vista Murrieta while Jerry Knapp, Coltin Gerhart and Angel Ortiz had the three Bronco RBIs.

The Wolfpack is now 16-5 overall and 6-3 in league. The win keeps the Pack in a

three-way tie for first place in the Southwestern League with Murrieta Valley and Temecula Valley. Vista Murrieta is 14-6 and second place in the league with a 4-5 record.

Great Oak will be home on Tuesday to play Chaparral. The Broncos will travel across town to battle Murrieta Valley. Both games start at 3:30.

  • Murrieta Valley takes their series after unexpected loss to the Rams

After shutting out the Murrieta Valley Nighthawks 3-0 last Tuesday in a game that was chalked full of controversial calls, Murrieta Mesa couldn’t find the answer on Thursday and for the second time this season were blanked by the team that hails from the same side of town. Things seemed to get back to normal with the convincing 9-0 win as senior Ben Mora was flawless on the mound and threw a no-hitter against the Rams. Mora pitched all seven innings and struck out six. Coach Monte Jones named him Player of the Game.

The Nighthawk attack was led by Kevin Padlo, Dominic Morace and Aaron Shackelford. Each had two hits, Knocked in two RBIs and scored. James Schmidt had two hits while Rylee Robinson and John Moral had an RBI each.

The victory improves the Nighthawks to 14-7 on the season. More importantly, Murrieta Valley is 6-3 and once again finds itself in a three way tie for first place in the Southwestern League. The Rams are now 8-12 overall and 3-6 in league.

Murrieta Valley will host the Broncos Tuesday and the Rams will travel to Temecula Valley to face the Golden Bears as the competition amongst all these teams intensifies. Both games start at 3:30.

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