Major Baseball victorious out of the gate

The Kern River Valley Major Baseball All-Stars are all smiles after winning to keep their tournament hopes alive. Submitted photo.

Story by Ray Conner

The Kern River Valley Major Baseball All-Stars claimed a win to begin their tournament.

The KRV squad made the trip to Tehachapi to take on the host team. A four-run second inning propelled them to the victory. They would then hang on as the Tehachapi team had the tying runs at the plate in the bottom of the sixth. There was one out in the inning and runners on first and second. Twi strikeouts ended the threat and gave the KRV team the “W”.

The KRV team was trailing 1-0 as Tehachapi scored one run in the bottom of the first. Taking their at bats in the top of the second KRV saw the first five batters reach base. Chasen Alvarez led off the inning by smashing a double. Jackson Phillips and Cash Noble worked out walks to load the bases. Abel Avila approached the plate to take his turn. On a 3-0 count, Avila drove the next pitch for a double that drove in two and put the KRV team ahead 2-1. Luke Carver, the fifth to bat in the inning laced a single to knock in a run and make it 3-1. Heston Creighton was credited with a fielder’s choice that recorded an RBI and the fourth run of the inning.

Tehachapi was able to get one run back to cut the lead in half in their next at bats. The score stood at 4-2 until the top of the fifth. The KRV squad pushed a run home to increase the margin. Briggs Griswold started the rally by taking a two-out base on balls. Another free pass to Andrew Young put runners at first and second. Jonathan Philips collected an RBI with a single and made the score 5-2 for the KRV team. Their opponents got another run back as they produced a run ion the bottom of the fifth to put the score at 5-3 with one inning left.

In the top of the sixth, KRV added an insurance run. Wyatt Wilkins started the run-scoring inning with a single. He was moved to second on a 1-3 put out. Jackson Phillips delivered a single that saw Wilkins touch home p-6late to make it 6-3. 

The excitement was building as the bottom of the sixth started off with a single by the Tehachapi batter. He tried to stretch it into a double, but was nailed at second. The next two batters reached base by getting hits and the tying run came to the plate. Two strikeouts ended the game and gave the hard-fought win to the KRV All-Stars. The win advanced the KRV team to a match up with Bishop.  

The contest with Bishop what not what the KRV All-Stars were looking for as they dropped the 16-8 decision. The game was a see-saw affair as the two teams battled. After five complete innings the score was 7-6 in favor of Bishop. Hanging tough the KRV team was right in the thick of things. The top of the seventh proved to be their undoing as Bishop scored nine times and put the game out of reach. The KRV squad got two runs back in their half of the sixth, but nit near enough to overcome Bishop.

Jackson Phillips led the team in hitting with three. He would also record one RBI. Xander Anzaldo delivered a pair of hits, including a home run. He knocked in three runs, while Jonathan Phillips and Avila each had one hit.

With the loss the KRV team now has to battle back through the loser’s bracket.

Up next for the KRV team was a match up with Cal City. This would prove to be no problem for the squad as they dominated the game. The final score saw the KRV team win 16-0. As a team they pounded out 13 hits. They ran wild on the bases as they racked up 24 stolen bases. 

They would score all the runs needed in their first at bats. They tallied three runs to take the early lead. They added three more in the second and two more in the third. They closed out the game with an eight-run fourth and send them to another elimination game.

Jackson Phillips was the leading hitter for the KRV squad. He collected three hits and plated four runs. Talon Montes, Alvarez, and Wilkins each had two hits in the game. Jonathan Phillips, Anzaldo, Avila, and Noble delivered one hit apiece. Montes and Wilkins each recorded one RBI for the team.

Next up was a rematch with Tehachapi. The KRV team exploded for 27 runs. They collected 20 hits and took advantage of the wildness from the Tehachapi pitcher. As a team the KRV squad were issued 15 walks. When all was said and done the scoreboard read 27-13 in favor of the KRV team. They had staved off another elimination game and continued to march on in the tournament

Each member of the KRV team scored at least one run in the game. Alvarez led the team in hitting with four. Anzaldo delivered three hits, while Jonathan Phillips, Montes, Avila, Griswold, and Young each had a pair of hits. Rounding out the hit parade were Wilkins, Carver, and Jackson Phillips had one hit apiece.

The first game was played on June 26 versus Tehachapi. Followed by the Bishop game on June 28. They played Cal City on June 29 and finished the month of June in the rematch with Tehachapi. This All-Star team took on Mono County on Monday. A win would pit them in a rematch with Bishop and a North Championship on the line to be played on July 2.

The Kern River Valley Major Baseball All-Stars and their coaches are all business as they get ready to compete in the tournament.
Submitted photo