Trying to predict how the West Yosemite League baseball season will turn out could cause a person to gain a few extra unwanted gray hairs.
There is so much parity in the WYL, that there is really no way of being able to tell how things are going to play out.
Instead of trying to predict the future, local baseball fans should just sit back, relax and enjoy the ride because the four Visalia high schools in the WYL are sure to provide them with plenty of excitement from now to the end of the regular season on May 10.
For those that tuned in to watch El Diamante and Golden West on Wednesday afternoon, they were treated to a couple of impressive pitching performances.
El Diamante’s Blake Edmonson got the better of Golden West’s Thomas Dunehew on Wednesday as the Miners closed out the first half of the league season with a 3-0 victory at El Diamante.
“We came in and we knew Golden West was a contender and a good team,” Edmonson said. “We do what coach says and we give ourselves chances to win. That’s what we did. We competed and never gave up.”
Edmonson dominated a potent Golden West offense. He went all seven innings, gave up two hits, walked four and struck out eight. Golden West managed to get just one runner as far as second base.
“Blake battled today,” El Diamante coach Bert Flores said. “He probably didn’t have his best stuff, but he established his breaking ball in the middle to late innings and kept hitters off balance. Golden West is a great hitting team. He did a great job against them.”
Edmonson was matched just about pitch for pitch from Dunehew.
El Diamante managed to load the bases with one out in the first inning, and had runners on second and third with nobody out in the fourth inning, but Dunehew got out of both jams unscathed.
It wasn’t until the fifth inning that El Diamante broke through. With runners on first and second, Edmonson hit a RBI-single off the glove of a diving third baseman.
Dunehew went five innings, giving up one run on three hits.
The Miners added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth inning, but Edmonson didn’t need them.
“Blake was a big reason we can’t be happy with our performance,” Golden West coach Bob Verissimo said. “We made errors early and Dunehew got out of trouble. But when you only get a runner to second base [once], you have to tip your hat to their pitcher.”
Edmonson has been almost unhittable during West Yosemite League play. He has appeared in four league games and has given up just three runs in 21 innings of work while striking out 25. His last two starts have been complete-game shutouts.
“We have our strategy of who’s starting when and we have a set bullpen schedule,” Edmonson said. “We’re really pulling things together when we need to.”
El Diamante’s overall record of 9-13-1 doesn’t scream out title contender, but the Miners closed out the first half of WYL play with a 4-2 record, winning three straight.
El Diamante, Mt. Whitney and Redwood are each 4-2 and tied for first place.
“Every year, it seems like it goes down to the wire,” Flores said. “This year is no different. It is great that the Visalia schools are all battling for the top spot.”
Golden West fell to 3-3 in league and 15-6 overall.
“W can’t be making any more mistakes,” Verissimo said. “We feel we’re better than a 3-3 team. We just have to prove it now.”