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Bottom of batting order lifts Valhalla

04/05/2014, 4:29pm PDT
By Bill Dickens, Special to the U-T

Norsemen defeat Helix for title in Bill Dickens Grossmont Conference Tournament

— It was bottoms up for Valhalla in Saturday’s championship game of the third annual Bill Dickens Grossmont Conference Tournament at Helix High.

Cole Henderson, Andy Van Antwerp, Justin Garcia-Jaime and Jared Sullivan — the bottom four hitters in the Norsemen’s batting order — were a combined 8-for-16 as Valhalla earned a 6-4 baseball win over the Highlanders.

Henderson and Garcia-Jaime hit home runs, and the quartet scored six runs and drove in three as Valhalla (8-3) posted its eighth straight win.

Henderson, a sophomore third baseman, is batting .667 (12-for-18) in his last six games.

“I’m seeing the ball really well right now and I hope it continues,” said Henderson. “When people get on a streak like that it seems like everything falls. Of course, it can go the other way, too. You hit the ball hard and it seems like it’s always at somebody.”

Henderson led off the sixth inning with his first varsity home run, giving Valhalla a 3-1 lead.

“It was a 2-0 count so I was definitely looking for a fastball, and that’s what I got,” Henderson said. “It was low and inside. I’m not really a power guy. I’m more of a contact hitter.”

Valhalla pitchers hit five batters — three in the first inning — but the Highlanders had to settle for one run as the Norsemen turned an inning-ending double play.

“We didn’t come out of the box very well,” said Valhalla coach Mike Wilson. “But that first double play was a momentum changer.”

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