BARSTOW • The Victor Valley baseball team knew about the short right field at Barstow High School that measures just 270 feet.

The Jackrabbits were aware of the wind gusts that can make 270 feet seem more like 2.7 feet.

Their scouting report turned out to be more than just a bit of anecdotal information as the Jackrabbits helped to jam up the top of the Desert Sky League standings with a 9-5 win at Barstow on Wednesday.

Three teams — Barstow, Victor

Valley and Silverado — now sit atop the DSL with two league wins each and the first round of league play set to finish on Friday. Barstow travels to Granite Hills while Victor Valley (7-6; 2-1 DSL) hosts Burroughs. Silverado (2-2 DSL) has a bye.

Victor Valley was quick to jump on the Aztecs (8-3; 2-1 DSL). The Jackrabbits twice hit back-to-back homers in the first three innings and earned an 8-2 lead in that time.

They finished the game with five home runs hit by five different players. Each one aided by strong wind gusts which blew for most of the game. All to the shortest part of the Aztecs' field.

"We know there's a short porch in right field and our plan all week, we worked on it in practice, was to sit back and drive to the short porch," Victor Valley coach Mark Mora said. "Our guys, obviously you could tell, did that today."

Alex Pollard and Justin Lopez began the Jackrabbits windy barrage in the first inning while Mitchell Hobbs and Mark Lopez joined in the third. Darrin Duncan also homered in the third inning.

"They took advantage of our field and the conditions," Barstow coach Bruce Mitchell said. "That's where it blows; that's where it's short."
Aztecs' starter Jaccob Muir pitched four innings with four strikeouts and gave up five earned runs.

The Aztecs narrowed Victor Valley's lead by scoring runs in the third, four and fifth innings, closing the lead to 8-5.

"I like the way we fought back," Mitchell said. "They had us down and thought they had us buried and we came fighting back."
Thomas McCarty kicked off the Aztecs most productive inning with a home run to make it 8-3. Three batters later, Daniel Rodriguez brought in two runs with a double to right field.

Still, even when the Aztecs were getting production, it felt like they were a hit away from creating more problems for the Jackrabbits. The Aztecs stranded six runners during the third, four and fifth innings and left 10 on base for the game.

"It's just one of those days," Mitchell said. "Sometimes the ball bounces your way and sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes you hit it the way you should, sometimes you don't. That's what makes baseball a fun game but frustrating at times."

Victor Valley brought in Pollard, their No. 1 pitcher, to relieve Mark Lopez in the sixth inning.

"They knew we were coming," said Mitchell of the Jackrabbits putting in their ace. "They had to do something to stop us."

Although it looked like the Aztecs were starting to rally in the fifth inning, Pollard stopped any momentum for Barstow, allowing one hit and striking out three in two innings of work.

Victor Valley  305     000 1  —    9 12 5
Barstow        101      120  0 —    5 9 2

M. Lopez, Pollard (6) and Dickenson; Muir, McCarty (5) and Negrette. WP — Lopez. LP — Muir. 2B — Muir, Rodriquez (B). HR — M. Lopez, J. Lopez, Hobbs, Pollard, Duncan (V); McCarty (B)

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4124 or
mpeters@desertdispatch.com