4/4/2013 5:00:00 PM Palo Verde Yellow Jackets rally for tournament title
Randy Peterson Palo Verde Valley Times
BLYTHE - The Palo Verde High School Yellow Jacket baseball team rallied from a 5-0 deficit to defeat the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers, 6-5, and win their division of the San Diego Lions Invitational last week. The come-from-behind victory avenged an earlier 7-0 loss the Trailblazers gave the Jackets earlier in the tournament's pool play.
Down 5-0, the Jackets got on the board in the bottom of the fifth inning with their initial run then rallied with four runs in the bottom of the seventh to pull even before scoring the deciding tally in the bottom of the eighth.
Jordan Velarde delivered the big blow with a two-run triple in the seventh inning. Velarde finished the day with two hits and scored a run while Brandon Johnson and Joey Guerrero were each good for two hits.
Damien Ramirez had a hit and scored twice while Sam Taylor scored a run and Darien Herrera had the other Jacket hit.
Gage Wright picked up the win on the mound as he pitched the final three-plus innings allowing only one hit and no runs over that span.
Palo Verde earned the right for the rematch with an 11-5 win over Chadwick High School of Palos Verdes. The Jackets scored eight times in their first three at bats and, after the Dolphins cut the lead to 8-5, Palo Verde put three insurance runs on the board in the bottom of the sixth to claim the win.
Jake Richards led the way offensively as he rapped three hits including a double, drove in two runs and scored three times. Herrera was good for a hit and three runs while Taylor helped with two runs and a pair of hits.
The Yellow Jackets opened pool play with an 11-4 triumph over the Gompers Prep Academy Eagles.
Guerrero paced Palo Verde's 12-hit attack with three hits including a triple along with scoring twice while Velarde rapped his first triple of the tournament and scored two times. Wright and Taylor were also good for a pair of hits and each scored a run while Dylan Schriner and Jacob Green each added a hit. Damien Ramirez drove in two runs along with scoring another as Richards was good for two runs scored.
Richards, Wright and Johnson combined to pick up the win on the mound.
The second round of pool play saw the Jackets' offense continue to shine as they rolled to a 14-4 win over Tri-City Christian. The Jackets scored in five of their first six at bats and were never threatened.
Velarde drove in five runs with three hits and scored three times to lead the way while Ramirez banged three hits, including a double and a triple, scored three times, and drove in two. Wright and Johnson were each good for two runs scored in the contest while Johnson was the game's winning pitcher.
In the first meeting with the Trailblazers, the Jackets offense fell silent as the Sierra Canyon pitcher kept the Jacket hitters off balance while scattering four hits and not allowing a run in the shutout.
Taylor had two of the hits including a double while Johnson also had a double and Guerrero had the other hit.
The Jackets were back on the tournament trail this week in Hemet at the Tahquitz High School Titan Classic and will resume Imperial Valley League play on April 9 when they travel to El Centro for a game with Southwest.
Next home game will be April 12 when the Jackets host Imperial at Alexander Field.