West Valley View, Avondale, Arizona, Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Westview loss is unimportant Pitcher struck by batted ball
by Mike Russo sports editor
Visiting Laveen Cesar Chavez rallied from a 1-0 first- inning deficit to defeat Westview 11-1 Thursday in a game halted after six innings by the mercy rule. However, the outcome of the game was secondary in importance to an incident that occurred in the third inning. With runners on first and second and one out, Westview junior right-hander Victor Mena delivered a pitch to Chavez’s Jose Algandar. Algandar hit a rocket directly at the mound. Quick reactions by Mena averted a potentially serious injury. He leaned back and fell to the ground as the ball glanced off the right side of his head, leaving a small knot. The ball continued on into center field for a run- scoring double. “He got lucky he didn’t turn or the ball would have caught him in the temple or eye,” Westview coach Alex Celis said. “It was hit like a bullet. That’s a case of the new BBCOR bats maybe saving a serious injury. With the ball coming off an aluminum bat, Victor may not have had time to react.” The crowd sat hushed as Mena rose quickly and was tended to. He was able to walk off the field under his own power.
“I thought I could get it but it was hit too fast,” Mena said. “I’m OK.” The hit delivered the Champs’ third run and seemed to deflate the Knights. “That’s all everyone talked about in our post-game meeting,” Celis said. “We are grateful that Victor is all right.”
Strong start for Knights Westview (5-18) jumped on Chavez (10-13) starter Ismael Bracamontes for a first-inning run on Shayne Miller’s infield single and Daniel Caraveo’s double to left field. However, Bracamontes limited the Knights to just one
hit over the final five innings, a fourth-inning infield single by Miller, and Chavez pounded out eight hits, including two doubles and two home runs, to post the victory. The Champs were greatly aided by the wildness of the pitchers who followed Mena to the mound. Pablo Medrano and Joe Gonzales combined to walk five batters and hit three.
During his 2 1/3 innings, Mena yielded three runs, two earned, on three hits. He struck out four, walked one and hit a batter.
“Three hits in the game is not going to produce a win,” Celis said. “Their pitcher settled in and started throwing his slider for strikes. He kept us off balance with his mix of pitches.” After Westview took a 1-0 lead, Chavez responded with a pair of runs in the top of the second.
(See Loss on Page 17)
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View file photo by Ray Thomas
WESTVIEW’S JOE GONZALES pitches March 9 against Chaparral. Gonzales was one of two Knights called upon to pitch in relief Thursday after starter Victor Mena was struck by a batted ball against Cesar Chavez. The visiting Champs won the game, 11-1.
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