The Rams Get Ready to Face Temecula Valley on April 10th as Southwestern League Action gets back on Track
Mesa got to the Championships by slipping past West Valley 6-5 and then beat La Sierra 5-2 when the tournament opened on Saturday. They beat Heritage 4-2 Monday to qualify for the final game of the tournament.
“We played some really good baseball this past week, our bats came alive, pitching was more on point and we had a lot of small victories” said Rams Coach JP Raineri. “Now we have to get back to the grind of the Southwestern League and focus on competing for the post season.”
The Rams had beaten the Titans 3-2 in dramatic fashion earlier in the season. “This was the second time we faced Tahquitz this season and we knew they were going to approach us a bit differently than the last time when we beat them with a walk off” said Coach Raineri. “With our season starting off a bit rocky, it was nice to get out and compete with some of the better teams outside of our league”.
Sebastian Cueva was the losing pitcher for Murrieta. The junior gave up all 5 runs on 10 hits over 5 innings. Senior Jacob Marquardt came in to pitch an inning of scoreless relief, striking out the 3 batters he faced.
Gabriel Ponce de Leon drove in both runs for the Rams. The senior also swiped a base. Aaron Torres, Ryan Hidalgo and Cameron Skinner each had a hit for Mesa.
“The Titans are a well coached team obviously and it was a testament to both of our programs for being in the championship game”said Coach Raineri. “They won CIF last year in Division 4, our program won CIF in 2016 in Division 1… but at the end of the day, no matter what division you play in, every game is going to be a dogfight when you have those targets on your back.”
The Rams now get ready to play Temecula Valley on April 10th as Southwestern league plat resumes. The Rams are 4-9 overall and 0-3 in league play.
Photos by Alicia Salcedo