By Adam Stites/Garden Grove Journal
Just two games into a season, it’s tough to forecast how good or bad a team is and tempering one’s expectations is usually wise. For the Pacifica baseball team, however, it’s tough not to get excited after beating Valencia in back-to-back games including a 18-3 dismantling on Friday, March 18.
“We’re returning some experience so they’ve experienced this before,” said Mariners head coach Mike Caira. “This is just a great group of kids that are really working hard together and they’re putting the time in. If you work hard, good things are going to happen.”
Good things certainly happened for Pacifica on Friday when they poured on 20 hits and 18 runs against the overwhelmed Valencia Tigers. Just two days prior, the Mariners defeated the Tigers by a much more modest 4-0 score.
Junior Kyle Davis, a first-team All-Empire League and third-team All-County player in 2010, got the momentum rolling for PHS early when he hit a two-run home run over the wall in left-center field wall in the first inning. Davis continued to find success as the game went on, hitting a three-run home run in the fourth inning to extend the lead to 17-0, finishing the game with six runs batted in.
Catcher Marcus Rodriguez also helped to keep the Pacifica offense rolling, going 4-for-4 on the day and accumulating three RBIs, including a solo home run in the sixth inning that proved to be the last score of the day for the Mariners.
Despite a game in which the Mariners offense looked to be unstoppable, Caira praised his team’s pitching and defense as its greatest strength following the game.
He also knows that in order to take down the reigning Empire League champions, Cypress, that his team will need to find improvement as the season goes on.
“We could’ve done a couple little things better today and the previous game,” Caira said. “Just the little things that don’t show up in the box scores. Running a hard 90, making a tighter turn, things of this nature.”
Cypress, ranked fourth in Orange County in the latest media poll, represents a formidable foe in the future for Pacifica when they close the regular season on May 10 and 12.
For now, the Mariners have their hands full with the Tustin Tillers who they played Wednesday, March 23 (the result too late for our print deadline) and will play again Friday, March 25.