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Big inning lifts Central Valley
Central Valley High School's varsity baseball team kept its slim playoff hopes alive with an 11-0 trouncing of Weston Ranch in Game 2 of their Valley Oak League series on Friday in Ceres.

It didn't take long for the Hawks to seize control as they plated 10 runs in the bottom of the first inning. The contest was stopped after the top of the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.

"Today, we came out and hit the ball and played good defense," said Martin Gomez, Central Valley's star pitcher. "We didn't make any errors. Everybody contributed."

"When it's in your favor, it's enjoyable," Hawks head coach Greg Magni added.

Fourth-place Central Valley improved to 4-6 in league and 9-13-1 overall.

Last-place Weston Ranch dropped 0-9 and 1-17.

The top three teams in the VOL advance to the postseason. Central Valley, Manteca (7-3), Sierra (6-4), East Union (6-4), Ceres High (4-6) and Sonora (4-6) are battling for the conference's second and third berths. First-place Oakdale (9-1) plays Manteca this week and Sonora next week.

"We have four games left," Magni said. "You never know what could happen."

"Hopefully we can win out and make playoffs," Gomez said. "That was our goal at the beginning of the year."

Martin, a junior right-hander, struck out eight, walked two and allowed two hits to improve his record to 6-4 on the year.

"We got the win," Martin said. "That's all that matters."

"He ended up getting a win and save this week," Magi said. "He did his job. He's a team player. I've never heard him mention individual stats once."

The Hawks pounded out 11 hits, including eight in the first inning.

"I'm just glad we came out and swung the bats," Magni said. "We talked about being more aggressive earlier in the week."

"It was good seeing everybody hit the ball," Gomez said. "Hopefully, it carries on to next week against Sierra."

Central Valley will host the Timberwolves today and play at Sierra Friday. Both games begin at 4 p.m.

"They have a very good ball club," Magni said. "They're well-coached. We have nothing but respect for that program."