Valley Christian stands proud during major diamond test

By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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The Valley Christian Academy baseball team knew it was in for a rough battle when it elected to take part with some of the area giants in the Granite Bay Spring Break Tournament, and the tourney delivered as expected. The defending Division VII champion Lions stepped the level of competition by taking part in this event, and after losing a tight one-run game to Bella Vista and then taking it on the chin against last year’s D-II champion Ponderosa in Monday action, the squad also lost its final two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. The bats were not the problem for the Lions Tuesday when they faced El Camino at Granite Bay High on Tuesday, but VCA was betrayed by the leather. Six errors played a key role as Valley Christian lost to the Eagles 16-8. El Camino tallied six times in the first and plated four more runs in the second in taking a 10-5 lead after just two stanzas. The Lions did respond with four runs of their own in the first, but could not keep up with the Eagles. “It always comes down to pitching and defense,” said Valley Christian coach Brad Gunter. “We fell behind and they just kept hitting the ball hard.” Sophomore Junior Casas led the eight-hit Lion attack with a double, a home run and three RBIs. The three-day tourney concluded for Valley Christian on its home field Wednesday afternoon, with a head-to-head battle against Casa Roble. In a major slugfest, the Rams overpowered VCA 13-6. Each team homered three times in the contest, but Casa Roble’s six-run initial inning put the Lions in catch-up mode the rest of the way, and they just could not get it done as the Rams banged out 15 hits. Aaron Guzman had three hits, two home runs and five RBIs for Casa Roble, while the Lions were powered by round-trippers by Matt Meeink, Gabe Miramontes and Ryan Cordell. “Regardless of the scores, we have a lot to be proud of this week,” said Gunter. “These kids represented themselves, their families and their school very well. Valley Christian (9-6) gets back to league action when it visits Sierra Christian of Rocklin on Tuesday.