WEB EXCLUSIVE: No.2 Jaguars drop double-header to No. 3 Goddard

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TOME – The Valencia baseball team woke on Thursday to see their Class 4A ranking rise to No. 2 in the state. But Thursday afternoon they encountered No. 3 Roswell Goddard, which handed the Jaguars a pair of one-run losses – their first losses this season at Jaguar Field –  and put a dent in VHS’ state tournament resume.

Valencia (18-7) closes the regular season today when they host Grants. The Rockets improved to 20-4 on the season.

Game one – GODDARD 4, VALENCIA 3

The Rockets needed just one big inning to win the opening game of the two teams’ double header. Goddard scored four runs on four hits in the top of the third inning then held off a rally by the Jaguars late.

The Rockets benefited from a two-run double by senior Josh Wagner and two sacrifice flies in the third. Meanwhile

The Jags, who notched eight hits on the day, got on a roll in the third with a pair of singles to start the inning. Tyler Klein and Carlos Ramirez would score to cut the Goddard lead to 4-2.

After pushing across one run, taking advantage of an error by the Rockets in the bottom of the fifth, moving Valencia to within one run of Goddard at 4-3.

The Jaguars mounted one more threat in the bottom of the seventh as Garcia singled and Cade Guthrie reached base on a walk.

But Goddard pitcher Cal Villareal got the last two Jaguar batters to ground out to end the game and the inning.

Garrett Garcia took the loss for Jaguars, striking out three while walking one batter and allowing four runs.

Game two – GODDARD 2, VALENCIA 1

The Jaguars’ Carlos Ramirez gave up just one hit in the night-cap of the two-game set, but Valencia was unable to get things going at the plate as the Rockets stole the game in the seventh inning.

Goddard took advantage of a Valencia mistake on the first at-bat as Taryn Nuñez made it all the way to third on an error and scored on a ground out one play later to give Goddard a 1-0 lead.

That lead held up until the bottom of the sixth as the Jaguars struggled to find their bats and stranded runners in the first, second, fourth and fifth innings.

Valencia got a break in the bottom of the sixth when Ramirez reached base on a Goddard error. Garret Garcia got an RBI singled on the next play to send the junior across home to tie the game at 2-1.

Goddard got a walk to start the seventh inning and looked to be on the ropes with two outs. But the Rockets rallied with a fielder’s choice, a single, a walk and a RBI single which sent Cal Villarael across the plate or the game-winner.

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