Vista inches closer to league title with 8-3 win over WolfpackBy: Matt Long, Sports Editor
Vista del Lago moved one step closer to a Sierra Valley Conference title Monday with an 8-3 win over Cosumnes Oaks.
Mike Majeski had the go-ahead RBI in the fifth inning and the Eagles broke out for five runs in the six to put the game out of reach, while Nick Schumacher battled through some control issues to earn the win. Schumacher only allowed four hits, but walked six and threw 112 pitches through six innings, before Andrew Schantz came on in relief to pitch the seventh inning.
“I did alright, but I could have executed better,” Schumacher said. “I had trouble with my arm slot and I was coming across my body and throwing high and outside.”
Schumacher might have been a bit wild, but he didn’t let it hurt him too much. The Wolfpack only scored two runs off of him and one shouldn’t have even counted. Schumacher walked the No. 9 batter to leadoff the third inning and three batters later, the runner scored on a two-out double down the right field line by Johnny Savage. The ball, however, was about a foot foul, but the umpire missed it.
Cosumnes Oaks took a 2-1 lead in the top of the fourth on back-to-back hits off Schumacher with a short two-out rally, but Vista quickly answered. In the bottom of the inning, Josh Pfeffer doubled and Nick Rametta singled to put runners at the corners, before Schumacher flied out to center field to score Pfeffer and tie the game at two.
Vista del Lago put together a two-out rally of its own in the fifth to take the lead for good. Zach Stolarow singled and scored on Mike Majeski’s double.
In the sixth, Vista broke the game wide open, thanks in part to Rametta’s line drive off Cosumnes Oaks pitcher Jeremy Caldwell, which knocked him out of the game. Caldwell scattered seven hits in 5 1/3 innings, but struck out five and didn’t walk anyone. With him out of the game, Vista started swinging the bats.
Schumacher reached base on an error and Kevin Gough was safe on a fielder’s choice, which resulted in a second straight Cosumnes Oaks error. After Ryan Kuzinich sacrificed Gough to second, Tyler Kaim, who struck out in his previous two at bats, came through with a perfectly placed, slow rolling ground ball that was just out of reach of the shortstop, allowing pinch runner Brady Hein and Gough to score.
Schantz walked and Stolarow singled to score Kaim to make it 6-2. Majeski followed with a two-run single to make it 8-2.
“Their pitcher made some pitches on us and it’s unfortunate that he had to leave the game, but we finally were able to put some hits together with him out,” Vista coach Scott Seffens said. “We just chipped away. Nick worked hard on the mound. Sometimes he can’t keep his mechanics in tune and walks are his nemesis, but he battled through it.”
With three games remaining, the Eagles, 13-2 in the Sierra Valley Conference, are two games in front of El Dorado (9-4) in the loss column and three in front of Cosumnes Oaks (8-5). One more win will lock up the league title, as Vista owns the tiebreaker over El Dorado by taking the season series two games to one. Vista plays at Cosumnes Oaks Wednesday and finishes up with a home-and-home series with Liberty Ranch Friday and Monday.
“I just want us to finish strong,” Seffens said. “I don’t know how they seed in the playoffs, so I just want to get as many wins as we can.”