Camarillo, Rio Mesa hit the diamond

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© Iris Smoot/Acorn Newspapers
Rio Mesa High’s Alex Torres, left, delivers a pitch against Thousand Oaks in the Easton Tournament. © Iris Smoot/Acorn Newspapers
The Camarillo High baseball team entered March like a lamb but hopes to go out like a lion.

After dropping the first three games of the season, the Scorpions have won their last two outings. The struggles, however, will continue if the Scorpions don’t play better defense.

Rio Mesa, which has won four of its last five games, has aspirations to contend in the Pacific View League with its crosstown rivals.

Camarillo Scorpions Overview:
Last season, the Scorpions blitzed through Pacific View foes like Godzilla leveling Tokyo with a hiccup.

Repeating as league champs will not be easy.

Camarillo struggles on defense. ACHS had eight errors last weekend in a victory against Palmdale and gave up 10 unearned runs in a 10-6 loss to Loyola on Feb. 24.

“It’s probably as bad as I’ve ever seen,” head coach Richard

Jaquez said of the defense. “We’re making inexperienced, childish plays and bad throws.

“We’ve got a long ways to go.”

Camarillo spent all week working on defensive fundamentals.

If there’s a silver lining in this situation, it’s that Jaquez’s squads have historically started slow before heating up.

Senior pitchers Hunter Virant and Justin Chamberlain are the backbone of this team.

Their pitching keeps the Scorpions in games, although Chamberlain has struggled in his first two starts with his command and curveball, which is inconsistent.

The offense has also picked up in two straight wins against Oaks Christian and Palmdale.

The Scorpions spray the ball to all parts of the field, hammering the ball gap-to-gap.

Although the power numbers are down with the new CIF-Southern Section approved BBCOR bats, Camarillo will still try to drive runners home with muscle and brains.

“If we play to our potential, we’ll be fine,” Jaquez said. “In five games, we’ve seen how bad we could be if the focus is not there.

“When you go through tough times, you have to hang in there. How you bounce back is the whole game.”

Rio Mesa Spartans Overview:
The Spartans play a high-tempo brand of baseball.

When they get on the bases, they have the green light to run.

Although Rio Mesa will never be confused with an offensive juggernaut, the Spartans have a .287 team batting average and two wins against Marmonte League outfit Thousand Oaks in the early going.

The Spartans will continue fine-tuning their defense.

“We’re working on improving our defensive play,” head coach David Soliz said, “and improving our execution with getting runners over.

“Defense is the strength of this team.”

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