FRESNO — Coming off an 18-run win earlier in the week, the Madera South Stallions baseball team was unable to muster any offense against the Bullard-Fresno Knights in a walk-off 1-0 loss to open the County/Metro Athletic Conference schedule.
“We just didn’t score any runs,” Madera South head coach Bobby Waits said. “We faced a pitcher that threw off-speed, but was hittable, but we couldn’t find a way to drive guys in when they were on base. We seemed to hit too many pop ups and fly outs instead of hitting the ball on the ground or on the line.”
Senior Jiovanni Saavedra pitched six strong innings in a pitching duel, but Madera South was unable to follow up on the offensive end after the Knights stymied their bats.
Waits said he wished his team was able to get a win at his alma mater.
“I have a lot of great memories here playing and there is so much history behind this place,” Waits said. “Being a part of it as a player was special. It’s great playing here and coaching here, I just want to start winning here.”
Both teams were unable to find a spark early until they had multiple chances in the latter innings of the game.
The game began to show life in the top of the fifth inning with the Stallions threatening with two men on base.
In the top of the fifth the Stallions and Knights remained scoreless.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Carlos Gonzales singled on a ground ball over the second base bag. Jeremy Flores was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second.
The inning fizzled out after the Stallions recorded back-to-back outs.
Lefty Saavedra returned to the mound in the bottom of the fifth with the game scoreless. After collecting two outs quickly, Saavedra allowed a single down the third-base line. The Knights were unable to put a run on the board after a groundout ended the inning.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, the Knights threatened with runners on first and second. With two outs and a full count, Saavedra fired in the pitch which was hit into left field for a base hit.
The Bullard runner rounded third, heading for the plate, but was thrown out by the left fielder just before he reached home plate.
The Stallions escaped danger and headed to the top of the seventh inning still tied.
The Stallions were unable to muster any offense in their last inning after the Knights put them down in order to give themselves a shot at winning the game in walk-off fashion.
The Knights pressured the Stallions with two men on base and followed up with a one-out game winning RBI single.