DESERT HOT SPRINGS — The Yucca Valley High School Trojan varsity baseball team got back into the win column Monday, March 25, with a 4-0 shutout against the Desert Hot Springs Golden Eagles.
“Senior Brandon Goodpaster was incredible on the mound, shutting out the Eagles over six innings while striking out 10 batters,” coach Josh Griswold said.
Junior Jesse Meza, senior Andy Davis and sophomore Noah Morones all drove in runs and junior Braden Brimhall had a solid day at the plate while throwing out a base runner in the bottom of the seventh, according to Griswold.
The win keeps Yucca Valley in second place in the Desert Valley League with a 5-2 record.
The Trojans will play the Eagles again at 3:15 p.m. March 28, this time with a home game at Yucca Valley High School.
“My coaching staff and I are instilling a playoff mindset with these boys right now,” Griswold said.
After this week, the boys have three more schools to face in conference play. All of the remaining teams are ranked behind the Trojans in the DVL.
They start with Cathedral City (4-3, fourth place) next week, followed by Desert Mirage (2-5, seventh place) and finally the Twentynine Palms Wildcats, who at 0-7, have been struggling this year and are in last place in the league.
Last week’s split, when the Trojans beat the Indio Rajahs 9-4, then lost to them 6-0, complicates things. At 7-1, Indio is in first place and Yucca in second in the DVL.
“If we had swept Indio, we would have controlled our destiny toward repeating as league champions. With last Thursday’s loss, though, we need to win out and get help from an Indio opponent,” Griswold said.
Indio is playing Twentynine Palms this week and won the first game 16-0. After that, it’s Coachella Valley (3-5, sixth place), Banning (4-2, third place) and Desert Hot Springs (4-4, fifth place).
“We are looking to improve our offense over the next three series as well,” Griswold added. “Our pitching and defense is much better this year, but our offense is a bit down; solid, but still down from last year.
“It will be fun watching the four seniors finish their high school careers in these last three weeks, too.” In addition to Goodpaster and Davis, Clay Smith and Hayden Higgins are the team’s seniors. “All four are starters and major contributors to the team,” Griswold said.”
The junior varsity Trojans lost to the Golden Eagles 11-6 Monday. Sophomore Jaden Cruz led with two runs.