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Warriors salvage fourth place in baseball standings

Joe Naiman

Village News Reporter

Fallbrook High School's baseball team began 2021 Valley League play with nine consecutive league losses, but the Warriors won four of their final six games to finish fourth among the six teams in the final standings.

The Warriors' 4-11 league record was part of a 6-20 overall season mark. Prior to the final six games, the team had a 2-18 season record.

"I'm not disappointed at all with this young group because we were starting from the beginning," said Fallbrook High Coach Patrick Walker.

Fallbrook lost 11 seniors from the 2020 team which had a 2-3 record before the coronavirus outbreak ended the season early. The 2021 starters included two freshman and four sophomores.

Fallbrook took two of three games from Escondido before closing out the season against Valley Center. Two runs in the top of the seventh May 28 at Valley Center gave Fallbrook a 5-3 win over the Jaguars and a two-game winning streak for the first time since the first two games of 2020. The Warriors held a 2-1 lead May 31 in Fallbrook before five Valley Center runs in the top of the sixth finalized the scoring in the 6-2 Jaguars triumph.

Fallbrook's season concluded June 2 at Valley Center; sophomore Peyton Vanyke allowed four hits and a walk in the complete game he pitched while a run in the top of the sixth gave Fallbrook a 2-1 victory.

"We won three of our last four," Walker said. "We were playing much better."

The record didn't provide the players with CIF playoff experience for subsequent years, but the players experienced competition. "These kids had that opportunity to play 26 games," Walker said.

Only five of the 2021 players are seniors. The 20-loss season was the first for Fallbrook since the 2017 Warriors had a 5-20 figure including a 2-10 Valley League performance which placed last among the five teams in the league that year. That 2017 team had seven freshmen and only two seniors.

"We took our lumps four years ago," Walker said.

The 2018 Warriors, which included the previous year's freshmen, had a record of 17-16 including playoff games and reached the CIF Division IV semifinals.

"This group of kids, they have a ton of potential, very similar to that group four years ago," Walker said. "Just a bright future because we're so young. The next three years will be exciting."


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