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Mora does it all as Los Al beats Fountain Valley
LOS ALAMITOS - Riding a four-game winning streak, it was hard to say that Los Alamitos’ baseball team had any shortcomings.
The Griffins had allowed two runs or less in all but one of their games this year. If there was one question mark, it was on offense.
Los Alamitos starter Kyle Mora came into Tuesday’s contest with a sub-1.00 ERA, but he had a 1-2 record. Clearly, the UCLA-bound right-hander needed run support, and he decided to take matters into his own hands against a league rival.
Mora hammered an inside-the-park three-run homer to straightaway-center in the fifth inning of a tie game, as the Griffins defeated Fountain Valley, 5-2, in a Sunset League game at Los Alamitos High.
“It felt good to be able to come through for the team and to be able to push us across,” said Mora, who knocked in four runs. “We had a lot of good at-bats.”
Mora ran his record to 2-2 after going the distance on 95 pitches, but he was in danger of taking the loss after allowing two unearned runs in the third inning. Travis Aversa singled to get things started for Fountain Valley (6-5, 1-1). He scored on an error, and Trevor Staffieri doubled in the second run.
Despite the jam, Mora continued to rely on his defense in pounding the strike zone with his high-80s two-seamer. His defense rewarded his faith, getting him out of a two-out, two-on jam when Cole Gilbertson made a diving stab behind the bag at second to end the third. In the fourth, Jack Keller doubled off Fountain Valley’s Justin Yang after catching Riley Hanson’s liner to center.
“It was big being able to let the guys play and do their thing behind me,” Mora said. “We had a lot of good defense, so it was easy to go out and throw strikes.”
Los Alamitos (8-4, 2-0) has taken its lumps in the Sunset League, finishing below .500 in each of the last two seasons. Griffins coach Matt Nuez is ready for that to change, but he knows they’re in for a battle.
“Sunset League is an absolute buzz-saw year in and year out,” he said. “It’s not for the faint of heart. We’ll take them when we can get them, but we have a long haul ahead of us.”
In the Crestview League:
El Dorado 3, Canyon 2 (9 innings): Michael Barnes drove in the winning run in the ninth inning for the Golden Hawks (4-7, 1-2).
In the Pacific Coast League:
Woodbridge 13, Northwood 3: Jake Larson went 4 for 5 for the Warriors (6-3, 1-1).