The Fighting Owls of Citrus College Baseball moved one step closer to challenging for a top 2 spot in the WSC East on Thursday, hosting and dispatching the Barstow Vikings in an 8-5 victory.
The Owls had travelled to Barstow Tuesday, romping the Vikings 20-2 and distancing themselves from the lower half of the conference. Citrus continued in that vain, piecing together a big 5th inning rally that would prove to be the difference maker on Thursday and moved one step closer to edging Barstow in the season series.
Sluggers Alexis Paz and Shota Usuda both sent pitches over the fence for homers, and spectators saw Paz finish up with one of his best stat lines of the season: 2 hits (1 homer), 2 runs, 1 RBI and a stolen base. Pitcher Peter Eitapence took over for starter Benjamin Aguilera and pulled off the win in 5 innings pitched, striking out 5 batters on the way and limiting the Vikings to just 2 hits and no runs.
Citrus currently sits as the #3 team in the WSC East, behind leader Glendale, who just dropped an untimely game to #2 Canyons last night. This creates quite the opportunity for the Owls in what will be the last week of the regular season. With Glendale and Canyons finishing out their season series tomorrow at Canyons, and the Owls slated to play 3 straight games against Glendale to round out conference play next week, the math adds up. The Owls do have a shot at taking at least a share of the conference title should they take fate into their own hands and win out the last 4 games. Of course, Canyons would have to drop a game or two at least to Victor Valley next week, in their season series, for the scenario to pan out.
The Owls play Barstow in the high desert tomorrow at 1:00 PM.