Vaqueros douse Victor Valley, 9-3

Former Dos Pueblos High ace Dan Martony made his collegiate baseball debut on Saturday at Pershing Park, coming in to effectively diffuse a sixth-inning threat in a 9-3 SBCC victory over visiting Victor Valley.

Connor Whalen started the game for the Vaqueros, allowing just one earned run through the first five innings. In the sixth, Whalen let the first two runners on base and head coach Teddy Warrecker called on Martony to preserve a 7-2 lead the Vaqs had just gotten by scoring all seven runs in the previous two innings.

The southpaw immediately induced a Victor Valley double play to reduce the threat. Martony then got the Rams’ Philip Cruz to ground to third but Sean Castella bobbled the ball and allowed Trevin Cano to score from third.

A composed Martony never allowed a ball out of the infield, getting the next Ram to hit a tame grounder to second to end the inning.

“Danny’s worked really hard to put himself in a position to pitch for us and it’s starting to pay off,” said Warrecker of Martony, who went on to pitch 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief with a strikeout.

Greg Selarz came on in the eighth to record two outs before the game was called before the ninth inning due to oncoming darkness.

“(It was) just a little nerve-wracking because the rest of the staff was pitching really good and I was just trying to compete and get my zero,” said Martony, a red-shirt freshman.

The staff allowed only one earned run and six hits through eight innings, but the defense’s three errors led to 2 unearned Victor Valley scores.

“We’re still trying to find our rhythm on the mound and defensively, and they kind of go hand in hand,” Warrecker said of his team over the first four games of the season.

SBCC is now 3-1 and hits the road for four games next week starting on Monday at L.A. Mission.

“We should be 4-0, but considering the first game we should have loss, I’m happy with 3-1,” admitted Martony.

“But we’re a much better team than we’ve been playing.”

Warrecker agrees, talking more about what his team needs to improve on more than the early 3-1 start.

“Right or wrong, my expectations for the group are a little bit higher,” he said.

Centerfielder Rorry Nakayama proved to be an offensive spark, reaching base in each of four at-bats. The freshman from Hawaii doubled, drew three walk, stole three bases and scored twice.

There were flashes of fielding brilliance from the Vaqueros, including Nakayama’s extra-base hit saving diving catch in the first inning.

Aaron Bauman and Jeremy Baum both had two hits and an RBI.  SEE PICTURE GALLERY

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