With the Baseball season winding down all over the country, the race to the playoffs is heating up and for the teams in the Sunbelt league, there could be a photo finish at the top.
“Right now, we know we have a huge target on our back, but we wouldn’t have it any other way,” says Paloma Valley head coach Chuck Kemp. The Wildcats are 15-4 on the season and are coming into this week of league play unbeaten at 9-0.
“Our league games have been won as a team, and team wins mean a lot. We are not throwing double digit scoring games on the board, or outscoring our league opponents by a whole lot of runs, but we are playing smart baseball right now and that helps,” exclaims Kemp.
Elsinore (11-9, 6-3) and Perris (2-10, 0-9) recently took the Wildcats the distance, dropping their games by only 1 run, proving that the race to the end could get a lot tighter.
Temescal Canyon (13-6, 7-2) is right on the heels of Paloma Valley and will face a tough opponent in Lake Elsinore this week before taking on the Wildcats next week. This year the Sunbelt teams will all face each other 3 times in league play and the last time the Titans met up against the Wildcats in league they lost 5-2, and also dropped one to them in a tournament game 8-4 as well.
“All of these teams, especially Temescal Canyon, are going to be coming strong and I just keep telling our boys to focus on the next game and to not look ahead,” adds Kemp.
Heritage High School (10-9, 4-5) has been relatively quiet, trying to maintain their composure and have been staying consistent by leveling off in the middle of the pack all season, while Perris and Lakeside (5-14, 1-8) are still hoping to turn things around with 6 game left in the season.
Friday May, 2nd the Valley News Diamond Showcase will be back for the second time this year, but is set to feature the Sunbelt League teams this time that will be playing in a triple header at Diamond Stadium, home to the Lake Elsinore Storm, Class A-Advanced farm team of the San Diego Padres. Fans will be able to watch three baseball games in one day for only $5 admission.
The opening game features Temescal Canyon and Elsinore playing at 1 pm; Lakeside will take on Perris at 4:15 pm; and Heritage will meet up against top seeded Paloma Valley at 7:30 pm under the lights.
This year’s event sponsors include: Lake Chevrolet, Juice It Up, Rancho Physical Therapy, Swivel Vision, Executive Event Services, Get Air trampoline Park, Hill Recovery, Sun Pro Solar, and Paradise Chevrolet. Sponsorships are still available for the Sunbelt League Showcase. Contact Laurianna Briana at [email protected] for details.
This is the sixth year that the Storm has provided local high school baseball teams with the opportunity to experience the professional baseball life in their state-of-the-art facility. This is the twenty-first anniversary of the Storm at the Diamond and Pete Lehr Field, considered one of the finest venues in all of minor league baseball, seating over 8000 for baseball. In that time, the Storm has sent 120 players to the major league and won three California League Championships. The facility can handle 14,000 for other events, like concerts.
Upcoming events at the Diamond include: Eibach Springs Honda Meet on May 4, and the Memorial Day 5k/10K run on May 26. Details can be found online at www.stormevents.com.
Take the day off and watch a great tripleheader as these local teams battle it out.
Paloma Valley – 8-0
Temescal Canyon – 7-2
Elsinore – 6-3
Heritage – 4-5
Lakeside – 1-8
Perris – 0-8
Stat Leaders (Top 5)
- Batting Average
1. Ryan Edinger (Paloma Valley) – .448
2. Adrian Gonzalez (Heritage) – .426
3. Eli Thomas (Temescal Canyon) – .420
4. Brennan Baker (Lakeside) – .378
5. Daniel Naus (Elsinore) – .375
- Home Runs (Top 5)
1. Devin McKesson (Temescal Canyon) – 3
2. Eli Thomas (Temescal Canyon) – 1
3. Andrew Lundstrom (Heritage) – 1
4. Billy Haysom (Temescal Canyon) – 1
5. Bryce Macy (Paloma Valley) – 1
- Runs Batted In (Top 5)
1. Devin McKesson (Temescal Canyon) – 17
2. Billy Haysom (Temescal Canyon) – 15
3. Ryan Edinger (Paloma Valley) – 14
4. Austin Clifton (Heritage) – 13
5. Sean Trimble (Temescal Canyon) – 12
- Stolen Bases (Top 5)
1. Andrew Lundstrom (Heritage) – 13
2. Zach Butler (Heritage) – 7
3. Austin Clifton (Heritage) – 7
4. Michael Dimarco (Heritage) – 6
5. Joshua Arvizu (Paloma Valley) – 6
- Earned Run Average (Top 5)
1. Adrian Gonzalez (Heritage) – 1.14
2. Devin McKesson (Temescal Canyon) – 1.17
3. Parker Fokken (Paloma Valley) – 1.22
4. Anthony Villa (Heritage) – 1.53
5. John (Hermie) Mendoza (Perris) – 1.63
- Wins (Top 5)
1. Parker Fokken (Paloma Valley) – 6
2. Sammy Fitzgerald (Elsinore) – 5
3. Ty Connor (Temescal Canyon) – 4
4. Sean Trimble (Temescal Canyon) – 4
5. Daniel Naus (Elsinore) – 4
*Standings and Stats based on most recent MaxPreps updates