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Santiago seizes win over rival Garden Grove
GARDEN GROVE – Before the season began, Santiago’s baseball team marked Friday’s game on its calendar.
The Cavaliers were eager to play their first game against Garden Grove, the two-time defending Garden Grove League champion.
All that excited anticipation paid off on Friday.
Abel Ordiano had doubles in his first three times up, and the Cavaliers showed they are capable of capturing the league title this season by beating the Argonauts, 5-1, at Santiago High.
“Since the beginning of September, we’ve been looking forward to this game. We’ve been practicing for this game,” Ordiano said. “This whole week, we were geared up and ready for them.
“We came out here and executed.”
The win places the Cavaliers (6-4, 4-1) in a tie with the Argonauts (5-5, 4-1) for first place.
Senior right-hander Richard Aviles earned the victory by going the distance and allowing seven hits. He struck out seven.
Aviles (2-1) said he still gets butterflies when pitching against the Garden Grove players he played with while growing up.
“It’s hard to pitch against them, especially because I know them all,” Aviles said of facing Garden Grove. “When I’m on the mound, I don’t care who it is. I have to get them out. That’s the job of a pitcher.”
The Argonauts had a runner reach third in the first two innings, but they didn’t score. After that, Aviles held them in check. He set down nine in a row through the end of the fourth.
In the fifth, Aviles faced Garden Grove lead-off man Cesar Valencia with the bases loaded. Valencia drove in John Clements on a force out, but Aviles struck out Ruben Villagrana to end the threat.
The Cavaliers had led since a run-scoring double by Ordiano in the second.
After the Argonauts scored in the fifth to tie the score, 1-1, Santiago put together a four-run response. David Raigoza doubled to start the inning and later scored the go-ahead run on an error.
Emmanuel Niebla’s two-run double gave the Cavaliers a 5-1 lead.
Santiago coach Greg Boswell knew his team would have no trouble getting excited about a game with the Argonauts.
“It’s crosstown rivals. The kids always play extra hard for Garden Grove,” he said. “It’s been a rivalry ever since the school has been in existence. The kids are up for it.”