Sierra Vista conquers early blahs, turns on power to defeat Rancho

Sierra Vista baseball coach Nate Selby was frank when he spoke about the first four innings of his team’s nonleague game against Rancho on Friday.

“We didn’t do much of anything, other than just kind of be here,” Selby said.

As complacent as the Mountain Lions were early, their bats were active when it mattered most. Sierra Vista scored four runs on five consecutive hits in the fifth and added four more runs in the sixth to rally past the host Rams, 9-6.

Nolan Kingham and Jacob Dismont each hit three-run homers as the Mountain Lions (20-9) stretched their winning streak to four. They are third in the Northwest League with two games left.

“We’re hoping to find a little groove here,” Selby said. “If our pitching can keep us in it and we can find a way to clean up our defense, we’ll be in the game.”

Starting right-hander Chandler Smith took that philosophy to heart in the fourth with Sierra Vista trailing 3-1, escaping a one-out, bases loaded jam.

The Mountain Lions’ offense went to work in the fifth, with Kingham hitting a 2-2 fastball over the left-field fence for a go-ahead three-run homer. Smith and Cole Crosby, who both had singled, scored ahead of him.

“I got the bunt sign on the pitch before,” said Kingham, a sophomore shortstop. “It was a bad pitch, and Coach didn’t call the bunt on the next pitch. So, I saw a fastball and just turned on it.”

Sierra Vista tacked on another run in fifth on an infield error, then Dismont’s home run to left field highlighted the Mountain Lions’ four-run sixth.

Rancho (18-11) struggled with four errors, but made it interesting in the seventh by scoring twice and loading the bases with one out. Sierra Vista reliever Tyler Burdett induced a game-ending double-play grounder by Alex Jordan.

Crosby finished 3-for-4 with three runs scored and Dismont went 3-for-3 with four RBIs.

David Modler, Andrew Wieger and Jose Verdugo each had two hits and an RBI for Rancho.

Contact reporter John W. Scafetta at jscafetta@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0430.

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