Golden Valley Baseball scores five runs in two innings in a 12-3 route against Taft


After a 14-14 campaign a season earlier, the Golden Valley Grizzlies got off to a 4-1-1 start in their first five games into the Spring 2024 season. They hosted the Taft Toreadors on Wednesday, February 28th, 2024 looking to avenge a 12-1 loss from a season ago. Similar to their counterparts, Taft only had one loss on the season heading into Wednesday after a 7-22 season in ‘22-‘23 that resulted in a 15-7 playoff loss to Poly in the D1 Quarterfinals. Golden Valley got their offense going early by taking a 5-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning as they stampeded their way to a dominant 12-3 early season victory.

Taft senior pitcher Spencer Pena took the mound against Jack Steidl for the Grizzlies looking to continue their early season momentum. Steidl put up a scoreless top of the 1st inning, only allowing a walk. Taft committed an error on a throw to first base to advance Grizzlies shortstop Brayden Brewer to second base. A single from third baseman Skylar Sears on the next at-bat was one of four consecutive hits leading to a quick 2-0 Golden Valley lead with the bases loaded.

The Grizzlies brought home two more runners after a walk and wild pitch to home plate to take a 5-0 lead. After a scoreless inning from both pitchers, Taft senior catcher Damien Stec knocked in senior outfielder Dominic Cioffi with a double for their first run of the afternoon in the top of the 3rd. Steidl didn’t allow any further damage while pitching errors from Pena in the bottom of 3rd led to Golden Valley first baseman Vincent Hundelt advancing to third base.

On the following at-bat, Grizzlies catcher Mike Lizzari added a run with a double leading to a pitching change from Taft Head Coach Thomas Derry. Senior lefty Andres Fernandez took over pitching duties for the Toreadors and earned an immediate strike out for their second of the inning. Down to their last out, Brewer added a single to bring home Lizzari to make it a 7-1 Golden Valley lead.

Steidl struck out his third and fourth batters in consecutive scoreless innings, while Golden Valley continued to pour it on in the bottom of the 5th inning. Fernandez’s day came to an end after he surrendered a run as a result of four consecutive walks allowed. Taft turned to senior pitcher Randy Ehrlich to stop the bleeding with bases loaded and one final out to obtain.

Golden Valley left fielder Conor Anderson singled to knock in Brewer followed by an exclamation point in the form of a double from Tyler Tait to give their team a 12-1 lead. Steidl added two more strikeouts to finish his afternoon in the top of the sixth inning. Taft added two runs in the top of the 7th inning after the Grizzlies made a pitching change to bring the final score to 12-3. The Toreadors defeated Chavez 12-0 on Friday night to improve to 3-2 on the season. Golden Valley will travel to Dunn on Saturday afternoon for a 1:00 matchup. 

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