No. 2 Granada took its 12 game winning streak on the road Wednesday against No. 16 Amador Valley in an East Bay Athletic league showdown. The Matadors stayed unbeaten with a 5-0 win behind another standout outing from senior right-hander Jacob Payne.
Payne came in with a 6-0 mark and a 0.21 ERA. He threw six shutout innings scattering four hits and striking out seven in the win. He was supported by a deep line-up, which started producing runs in the second inning. After getting runners on first and second after Amador Valley was called for interference, leadoff hitter Matt Richards drew a walk to load the bases. Catcher Jordan Thraikill followed with a five pitch walk to plate the first run.
In the top of the third, eighth place hitter Dan Whitney had a two RBI single and Ryan Dearborn followed with a RBI single to put the Matadors up 5-0. Amador Valley starter Jake Dronkers was able to get out of the third without further damage, but saw his record fall to 3-3 in tying a season high five runs allowed.
Granada (13-0) stays on the road against Cal on Friday before a home game against No. 6 De La Salle next Wednesday. Amador Valley (9-4) will travel to Monte Vista on Friday.
We beat a very good team today. We came out loose and confident. These guys show up and make the plays we have to make," Granada head coach Corrigan Willis said. "We've got guys on the hill who are flat out competing and dealing."
Payne is a max effort pitcher and lowered his ERA to 0.18 on the year in picking up his seventh win. He attacks the zone, is comfortably in the high 80s and was able to work in his breaking and off-speed stuff. In his final inning, he struck out the side on 15 pitches. He is an unsigned senior arm drawing interest and could have a nice future as a reliever.
"He comes right after you. He challenges hitters and he's got great stuff," Willis said. "He is overpowering, changes speed very well and when the ball is play, we are making plays."
Granada boasts a Division I outfield with Ryan Kirby (San Diego), Vince Fernandez (UC Riverside) and junior Casey Soltis (Oregon). Kirby went 1-for-4 with a single back up the middle. Fernandez went 1-for-2 with a single, two walks and two runs scored. Soltis finished 1-for-4 with a bloop single to the opposite field and a strikeout.
Amador Valley catcher Daniel Jackson (Long Beach State) went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout, but did some good work defensively. He is a taller catcher at 6-foot-2, but moves well behind the dish.