Warriors clinch fourth straight league title with 17-win streak

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Anthony Carrion gets a base hit during a recent Winters High School varsity baseball game. Photo By Ken Stewart

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For the fourth straight season, the Winters High School varsity baseball team has clinched the Sacramento Valley League Championship by sweeping the Live Oak Lions in a two game series. The Warriors will finish off league play this week facing Willows in their last two regular season games but even if they lost both, they would still win the league.

Currently, the Warriors have a win streak of 17, which passes their 2008 win streak of 16. Their overall record is 26-1 and climbing which is the best record in the state and on pace to be the best record in school history. Their preseason schedule was one of the toughest the Warriors has ever faced and should set them apart from anyone they face in the playoffs.

With all that being said, the most important thing that coach Jeff Ingles has been able to do this year with possibly the best team he has ever coached is keep them playing one game at a time. The ability to focus on here and now is what separates good teams from great teams, and that comes from great leadership.

“I think they have done a pretty good job of staying focused,” Ingles said. “We have some good leaders out there and we have seen some adversity in the preseason and in league and they battled through it.”

The Warriors started the week with a 10-0 shutout over visiting Live Oak on Tuesday, April 24. Jacob Roberts threw a one-hitter in a five-inning game, giving up no runs on one hit with no walks and three strikeouts for his fifth win of the season.

Winters totaled 10 hits and 10 RBI with Ruben Valencia leading the way. Valencia batted 2 for 3 with two runs scored and three RBI. Sammy Gonzales batted 2 for 4 with a double and a run scored. Anthony Carrion went 1 for 3 with a double, a run scored and two RBI. Roberts had two RBI. Jack Mariani scored a run. Brandon Gomez batted 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored. Gary Molina batted 1 for 1 with two RBI. Daniel Carrion batted 1 for 1 with a homerun, three runs scored and an RBI, while Atlas Martinez went 1 for 3.

On Thursday, April 26, Laguna Creek from Elk Grove wanted to see what the Warrior hype was all about and they found out with Winters beating them 11-7 in a non league game. Yes, it was a non-league game, but it was obviously one Ingles wanted to win because he threw both of his top pitchers at the Cardinals.

Right-hander Anthony Carrion got the start and the win, throwing the first 4.1 innings and giving up three runs, just one earned on four hits with three walks, and had eight strikeouts. Left-hander Gomez closed the game, throwing the last 2.2 innings and giving up four runs, three earned on three hits with two walks, and a strikeout.

At the plate, the Warriors did what they have done to several teams this year and that is explode in one inning. Winters scored nine runs in the bottom of the fourth to put the game away. Thomas Kakutani batted 3 for 4 with a run scored and three RBI. Daniel Carrion also batted 3 for 4 with two runs scored and an RBI. Gonzales went 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Anthony Carrion scored a run. Roberts and McCay Baker each scored two runs. Valencia batted 1 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI. Molina went 2 for 3 with two RBI and Martinez batted 2 for 4 with a run scored and an RBI.

The Warriors earned their tenth shut out of the season on Friday, April 27, with a 22-0 blowout over Live Oak on the road. Daniel Carrion got the start and the win, throwing the first three innings for the Warriors. Carrion gave up no runs on one hit with one walk, and had six strikeouts. Roberts threw the last two innings, giving up no runs and no hits.

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