Updated: Mar 2
Freshman left fielder Dorian Asher provided three runs for Valley, helping prevent a three-game losing streak.
By Nicholas Orozco, Special to the Star
The Monarchs' offense awoke in a San Fernando Valley showdown against the Brahmas, scoring early and often.
Following two losses on Thursday and Friday, Valley College baseball (9-5) returned to the win column on Saturday morning, defeating Pierce College 7-3. Consistency developed on offense, with 12 hits and seven runs lifting the Monarchs to victory. Freshman left fielder Dorian Asher finished the game hitting 2-4 with a home run and three RBIs – carrying Valley with his bat.
“It feels amazing,” said Asher about his performance at the plate. “It’s a huge confidence boost for sure, just gotta have [good at-bats] and carry it over through next week.”
At Monarch Field, a moment of silence was held before the game honoring the late Jim Fenwick. Fenwick coached football for both Valley and Pierce, as well as becoming Monarchs’ athletic director late in his career. He passed away earlier this month at the age of 69.
After recognizing the Valley legend and his impact on the community, the game began.
The Monarchs jumped to a substantial lead in the bottom of the third and gave a run-cushion for Valley’s pitchers to work with.
Freshman shortstop Maddox Latta hit an RBI single into left field, scoring freshman first baseman Tyler Olivas from third to place the first run on the board. Freshman pitcher/designated hitter Joshua Wood continued the rally, hitting a single and advancing to second off of an error by the Brahmas’ left fielder.
With runners in scoring position, freshman third baseman Lee Brandzel hit a ground ball single through the left side, scoring Latta to increase the advantage to two. Freshman second baseman Manolo Tafolla hit a line drive single into right field, scoring Wood and allowing the Monarchs to enter the fourth with a 3-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, Asher hit a two-run home run, his first of the season. The moonshot brought Wood home after reaching on an infield single.
The Monarchs scored again in the bottom of the sixth. Asher hit a single through the left side, scoring Latta from third, expanding Valley’s lead to six.
Freshman center fielder Jackson Lapiner hit a stand-up triple in the bottom of the seventh, scoring freshman right fielder Yeonwon Jeong who reached two at-bats earlier after being hit by a pitch.
Wood combined with freshman pitcher Andrew Howe to throw six scoreless innings and set up the Monarchs comfortably heading into the final frames.
“Coming into today, we were 0-2 [this week],” said coach Dave Mallas. “We wanted a big, strong outing from our starting pitcher [Joshua] Wood. It was his first start of the season and he was able to do well… Our pitchers are our strength and [Andrew] Howe has not had a bad performance yet.”
The Brahmas were able to cut into Valley’s lead with a three-spot in the top of the eighth. A solo home run from Pierce’s utility player Brent Swearingen and a two-RBI single off the bat of Pierce’s first baseman Mitch Kurtz cut the deficit to four.
However, their scoring was for naught as Lapiner took the mound and shut down the Brahmas in the top of the ninth, giving the Monarchs their ninth win.
The Monarchs will return to action on Tuesday when they bus down to Irvine Valley for a 2 p.m. contest.