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Guerra effective in first start for Hawks
Greg Guerra made his first career Valley Oak League start for Central Valley High School's varsity baseball team last week.

The right-handed junior went the distance, striking out six, walking two and scattering 10 hits as the Hawks posted a 6-4 victory over 2008 Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV runner-up East Union in Game 2 of their VOL series on Thursday in Ceres.

"Yesterday at practice, coach asked me if I wanted to start," stated Greg, who's typically a relief pitcher. "I said sure. I wasn't that nervous. My freshman year I played pretty much every position. I'm used to being moved around."

"I'm not really surprised," head coach Greg Magi said when asked about Guerra's stellar debut. "He's been a varsity starter since his freshman year. He never gets too high or low. He's even-keel. That has a lot to do with it (his success)."

Central Valley, which earned a split with East Union last week, improved to 3-3 in the VOL standings. The Lancers dropped to 2-4 in conference play.

"This is a pretty important game," Guerra said. "This is a huge step for us going to the playoffs. We were focused today."

The Hawks overcame a 4-3 deficit with a three-run outburst in the bottom of the sixth inning. Guerra, Israel Trevino and William Mestas collected RBI singles.

Trevino, Central Valley's shortstop, turned a much-needed double play in the top of the seventh inning.

"That was a huge relief," said Guerra, who struck out John Ott on three straight pitches to end the back-and-forth contest after yielding a two-out single to Johnathan Shepherd.

Magni contemplated replacing Greg late in the game. Martin Gomez, Central Valley's ace pitcher, remained at third base.

"Every inning, we kept discussing how he felt," Magni said. "He (Guerra) said he was fine. It's nice to finally have another guy step up."

"My curveball wasn't working," Guerra said. "But they were chasing my high fastball."