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Jaguars see improvement in pitching and defense, but drop three consecutive baseball games


April 02, 2014
It's been a rough beginning to the 2014 season for the Valley Center varsity baseball team, as they Jaguars have managed only one win in the first eight games.

But the Jags continue to show signs of improvement, especially in their pitching and defense, despite another trio of losses last week.

The Jaguars were defeated by Torrey Pines, Mission Hills and Fallbrook in the last three games, but the Jags gave up fewer runs in each game and the scores got closer and closer, down to only a one-run loss in the last game.

At Torrey Pines last Tuesday, the Jaguars fell behind early and couldn't bounce back in an 8–2 loss.

The Jags gave up a run in the first, a run in the third and five runs in the fourth before finally bringing in two runs in the top of the fifth. But Torrey Pines added one more in the bottom of the fifth to put the game away.

Brad Dozier led the offense with two hits and two RBIs, while Shaye Miller and Austin Bernard each had two hits and Kobe Fleck, Colton Blakey and Dominic Antonacci each had one hit.

Fleck took the loss on the mound, giving up seven runs on seven hits in four innings, with five walks and two strikeouts. Ryan Semon took over for the final two innings and allowed one run on three hits, with one strikeout.

Valley Center hosted Mission Hills last Thursday and nearly came back from an early deficit before taking a 7–5 loss.

The Jaguars scored a run in the bottom of the first to take a quick lead, but the Grizzlies responded with a run in both the second and third innings to pull ahead. Mission Hills added three more in the fifth and one more in the sixth to take a 6–1 lead.

The Jags answered with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull back within one, but the Grizzlies added an insurance run in the top of the seventh to hold on for the win.

Fleck led the offense with two hits and an RBI, while Bernard had a hit and two RBIs, Antonacci had a hit and an RBI, Dozier had a double, both Miller and Eric Ryan had a hit and Troy Duncan scored a run.

Clay Sisler took the loss after pitching five innings and allowing five runs on six hits, with five walks and two strikeouts. Blakey took over for the final two innings and gave up two runs (one earned), with one walk and two strikeouts.

And then on Saturday, the Jaguars played at Fallbrook and went to extra innings before suffering a 5–4 loss in ten innings.

With a run in the second and two in the fifth, the Jags built a 3–0 lead late in the game. But the Warriors came back with three runs in the bottom of the seventh to send the game into extras.

Each team scored a run in the eighth, but the game wasn't decided until Fallbrook walked off with a run in the bottom of the tenth.

Sisler led his team with three hits in the game, while Duncan had a double, a single and an RBI, Dozier had two hits and an RBI, Antonacci had two hits, Ryan had a hit and two RBIs and both Miller and Bernard had a hit.

Semon started the game and pitched seven innings, allowing three runs on five hits, with eight strikouts, but didn't factor in the decision. The loss went to Antonacci, who pitched two and two-thirds innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on two hits, with three walks and two strikeouts.

The Jags have already played at Mt. Carmel on Tuesday. They play again at home on Thursday against La Costa Canyon at 3:30 p.m.

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