The Murrieta Valley Nighthawks took a late lead to defeat the Murrieta Mesa Rams 7-6 Friday, May 14, at Murrieta Mesa High School. The loss for Rams was the second in their last three games, but prior to that, Murrieta Mesa (20-4, 10-1) was on a 15-game overall win streak and were undefeated in league.
Jhayden Raineri started the game on the bump for the Rams. The senior right-hander threw for five innings, allowing seven hits and five runs (3 ER) while striking out five. Senior Carson Olsen started the game for Murrieta Valley, allowing six hits and five runs (4 ER) over five innings, striking out five as well.
Murrieta Mesa got things moving in the first inning when they scored one run on a Colby Moran single, then tacked on two more when Raineri hit a line drive to the right field gap, scoring Moran and shortstop Carter Garate. The Nighthawks would score two runs an inning later to bring the score within one, but Olaso would score a run for the Rams in the bottom of the third on a wild pitch during another Raineri at bat.
Murrieta Valley (7-11, 3-8) charged right back when they scored three runs in the fourth inning on a home run by Nico Reyes, but Murrieta Mesa tied things up at five when an Olaso sacrifice fly scored one run for the Rams in the bottom half of the inning.
Junior reliever Eli Baca and senior Tyler Wolf entered the game from the bullpen for the Rams, throwing one and two-thirds innings and one-third of an inning, respectively. The game was tied at five with Murrieta Valley batting in the top of the seventh when Isaac Rodriguez singled on a 1-0 count, scoring one run. Baca took the loss for Murrieta Mesa. He allowed two hits and one run while striking out two and walking zero.
Lyndon Glidewell was the winning pitcher for Murrieta Valley. The pitcher surrendered zero runs on zero hits over one inning, striking out one and walking zero. Charlie McBride threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.
Despite the loss, Murrieta Mesa racked up nine hits on the day. Aidan Salcedo, Olaso, and Moran each collected multiple hits for the Rams. Murrieta Valley collected ten hits on the day with Ayden Tauscher, Reyes, and Dylan Fien all having a multiple hit game.
The Rams overall 15-game winning streak is the longest by any Southwestern League team to date, and their 10 straight league wins were the most since 2016 when the Murrieta Mesa Division 1 CIF Southern Section championship team had accomplished the same feat before dropping three straight games that year. The Rams would also win their first-ever Southwestern League title that year, which the 2021 team has already locked up, it is just a matter of will it be outright, or will they share the title with either Great Oak, or Vista Murrieta, who both would need to win the remainder of their final four games to still be included in that talk. Murrieta Mesa just needs one win in their next four games to take sole control of this year’s title.
Speaking of Great Oak (11-10, 6-5) and Vista Murrieta (14-10, 6-5), the Wolfpack swept all three league games from the Vista Murrieta Broncos, who fell behind early in their final loss of the series Friday, May 14. Great Oak put up four runs on big hits by Christian Smith and Andruw Householder in the second inning, but the Broncos notched three runs of their own in the fourth inning to bring the game within one run.
Vista Murrieta’s third inning was led by a single by Kade Johnstone and an error on a ball put in play by Matt Caldera. No more runs would come in the game as Michael Rodda got the win on the bump for Great Oak. The hurler allowed three hits and three runs over five innings, striking out five. Braden Wauschek threw two innings in relief out of the bullpen. Wauschek recorded the last six outs to earn the save for the Wolfpack. Lukas Pirko took the loss for the Broncos. The righty went five innings, allowing four runs on six hits and striking out three.
The final SWL game of the week saw the Temecula Valley Golden Bears fall behind early without being able to come back in a 5-1 loss to Chaparral (6-13, 3-8). The Pumas got things started in the first inning when junior Kameron Brodeur singled on a 0-1 count, scoring one run. Chaparral scored three runs in the fifth inning. Jared Joachim, Jack Pavlowsky, and Sebastian Morales powered the big inning with RBIs.
Ryan Sampson earned the victory on the hill for the Pumas. Sampson lasted four innings, allowing three hits and zero runs while striking out three and walking one. Ethan Van Scoy took the loss for Temecula Valley (13-11, 5-6). The southpaw surrendered five runs on six hits over four innings, striking out four. Pavlowsky started the game for the Pumas. The lefty surrendered one run on two hits over three innings, striking out three. Matt Tylman, Chris Paciolla, Steven Kirtides, Zuhayr Choudhry, and Zach Anderson each had a hit for the Golden Bears. Brodeur went 2-for-2 at the plate to lead Chaparral.
Southwestern League action heats back up Wednesday and Friday of this week. Four games remain for each team before playoff brackets get announced Sunday, May 30, at http://www.cifss.org.
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