5-run eighth, HR's from Ozawa-Burns, Grizzle lift Vikings to 8-7 win at ARC

Mason Mooney fires the first pitch of 2020 against American River
Mason Mooney fires the first pitch of 2020 against American River

A five-run eighth inning and home runs from Curran Ozawa-Burns and Steven Grizzle lifted the West Valley baseball team to an 8-7 win at American River Saturday afternoon.

The win earned the Vikings a season-opening split against the Beavers heading to the series finale Tuesday (1/29) at Valhalla. The teams opened 2020 Friday, with ARC taking a 10-2 win in Saratoga.

Saturday, the Vikings started strong, taking a 3-0 first inning lead on a three-run blast from Ozawa-Burns that drove in Jared Reupert and Jonathan Teschner, who had opened the game with walks.

After the Beavers tied it at 3-3 in the seventh, West Valley exploded for five runs in the top of the eighth. Kyle Riveron was plunked by a Brian Thomas pitch and moved to second on a passed ball. A Jalen Robinson single moved Riveron to third and a Reupert single scored Riveron for a 4-3 Viking lead.

A Teschner ground-out advanced Robinson to third and Reupert to second and an intentional walk to Ozawa-Burns loaded the bases. Robinson scored on a Logan Reulman sacrifice fly to RF to make it 5-3. It quickly became 8-3 on the next at-bat with Grizzle's three-run shot off ARC reliever Ian Penrose.

American River put four two-out runs on the board in the home half of the eighth to cut the lead to 8-7, but WVC reliever Matt Atencio sent the Beavers down in order in the bottom of the ninth to secure the win.

Atencio picked up the win in 2.1 innings of work. Cole Murchison led the Viking offense with a 3-5 outing, while Reupert went 2-4 with a double and an RBI.

First pitch at Valhalla Tuesday is 2:00pm.