Sanchez seals victory

Kwamae Byers keeps his eye on the ball, waiting for the perfect pitch during the game against Cedar Valley on Feb 21.

Kwamae Byers keeps his eye on the ball, waiting for the perfect pitch during the game against Cedar Valley on Feb 21.

The T-Ducks baseball team could not have asked for a more poetic ending to a teeth-grinding 6-4 win against Cedar Valley on Feb. 20. The offense really sparked as the hits came in bunches at the bottom of the 8th inning.

Dylan Salinas gives it all he has for the win.

Dylan Salinas gives it all he has for the win.

Once the T-Ducks got going, they got going. First baseman Kwamae Byers, in his three at bats, posted three hits and one RBI. With Richland down one run in the bottom of the 8th, Zach Sanchez, in his only at bat crushed a home run over the left field fence for a 6-4 Richland lead.

Gus Timmons, in for closer duties, faced five batters and struck out three, sealing the game for the T-Ducks.

“This is a team to watch out for,” said pitcher Dylan Salinas.

What seemed like a comfortable 3-0 lead at the top of the 7th inning made for a dramatic home stretch. Salinas set the way in his six innings pitched, recording eight strike outs against 27 batters faced.

Hits were few and far between. It was not until Salinas’ reached a 98-pitch count before Cedar Valley could earn their runs. The Suns used the top of the 7th and 8th innings to turn Richland’s 3-0 lead to 3-4 deficit.

While the Richland baseball supporters suddenly became wary about the outcome of the game, the T-Ducks never faltered, never lost composure.

“We are really excited, and want to stick together, keep winning, go on and play for something that matters. We’re just here to play baseball,” said closer Gus Timmons.

T-Ducks baseball players appear to have unique chemistry. They put the right foot forward, starting 1-0 in conference play and want to continue making strides in the right direction. The Richland-Cedar Valley Series was scheduled, at press time, to finish Feb. 23. The T-Ducks are scheduled to travel to play North Lake on Feb. 27.