Sean Varenkamp tossed a complete-game seven-hitter and Riley Hilton drove in the winning run with a flare over third base in the sixth inning, propelling the Scotts Valley High baseball team past San Lorenzo Valley High on Tuesday, April 9.
The final score in Felton was 3-2.
“This was a cleaner game for us,” said coach Rick Erlin, noting that the team made five errors in a recent game. “There was definitely improvement.”
Varenkamp was the catalyst, throwing many strikes and keeping hitters guessing with a variety of fastballs and off-speed pitches.
“I try to keep them off balance,” he said after the game. “I don’t have strikeout stuff and I can’t keep serving up fastballs.”
Scotts Valley scored in the first inning when Joe Gillette stole home. Jordan Peabody scored for SLV in the second inning to tie the score.
The score remained tied until the fifth inning, when Scotts Valley scored on a botched pickle play with runners on first and third. But SLV tied it up in the bottom half when pinch hitter Alex Alvarez singled in Lucas Trader to knot the score at 2.
“I liked Alex Alvarez’s two-out hit pinch-hitting off the bench,” said SLV coach Shane Sutcliffe. “We need that kind of productivity from the bench.”
Peabody pitched the first five innings for SLV and was relieved by sophomore Kenny Cella in the sixth.
Scotts Valley rallied as Varenkamp singled and stole second to set up Hilton’s game-winning base hit over third.
SLV could not capitalize on a Scotts Valley error in the sixth, and Varenkamp finished the game with a one-two-three seventh.
The Falcons improved to 4-2 in the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League, while the Cougars dropped to 2-4.
Scotts Valley takes on Aptos at home at 4 p.m. Friday, April 12, as SLV plays host to league-leading St. Francis.
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