Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South catcher Brandon Gamiz shows off the ball after tagging out Bullard pinch-runner Sanyan Sachdeva during the fifth inning of Tuesday’s loss.
Madera South baseball head coach Bobby Waits knows his team has the ability to pick up wins in the County/Metro Athletic Conference, but is getting tired of losing close ball games.
“I like the fight in our kids, but not getting these wins is getting old real quick,” Waits said.
The Stallions came back to score two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to tie the score against the Bullard-Fresno Knights before falling 4-3 in the 10th inning Tuesday at Eddie Chapa Field.
The loss dropped the Stallions to 1-5 in the CMAC. However, two of those losses were on walk-offs, another Madera South missed a squeeze bunt to win, which led to an extra inning loss. In another game, the Stallions came back to tie the score before allowing three runs in the sixth.
Madera South starter Manny Nunez got into and out of trouble for the first 5 2/3 innings, but kept the Stallions in the game. He helped strand 12 Bullard runners on base despite allowing 10 hits. Brandon Goethe suffered the loss, finishing the game with 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four and allowed six hits.
The Knights got on the scoreboard in the top of the third with a single, stolen base, groundout and single.
Madera south battled back. Brandon Gamiz led off the third with a walk. Flores bunted him to second, but beat the throw to first for a single. Angelo Feliu forced Gamiz at third with a sacrifice attempt. Tovar drew a walk to load the bases.
Caleb Bertoncini hit a fly ball to deep centerfield that was run down with a tumbling catch. Flores easily tagged from third. Feliu tagged to third and then scampered home on a Bullard throwing error. However, on an appeal, the field umpire ruled Feliu left second too early and he was called out to end the inning tied at one.
The Knights pushed over a run in the fifth on a double, single and an error. The Knights added another run in the sixth on a single, sacrifice and single to the No. 9 batter for a 3-1 lead.
The Stallions battled back in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Bertoncini started the rally reaching on a fielding error.
After a pitching change, Juan Carlos Gonzales welcomed the new pitcher with a double to the right centerfield gap and Bertoncini chugged all the way home to cut the lead to one.
Two pitches later, pinch-hitter Seth Jessing singled up the middle to drive in pinch-runner Uriel Conde with the game-tying run.
“Our guys came off the bench and did a really good job,” Waits said. “Everyone got into the game today.”
However, the Stallions got only two baserunners from the seventh through the 10th inning for a chance to win the game.
Bullard struck through in the 10th inning with a leadoff single and a sacrifice.
A single put runners at first and third with one out. Bullard’s No. 9 batter, who was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, singled to left to drive in the go-ahead run.
Goethe got a double play to get out of the inning.
Madera South didn’t go quietly in the bottom of the 10th. Josh Conigliaro led off the inning with a double down the left field line.
Flores missed on two bunt attempts and then hit a slow roller to right side of the infield. The Knights’ second baseman fielded the ball and tried to beat Flores to first. Flores went in head first and appeared to have beaten the second baseman to the bag, but was called out on the play while Conigliaro advanced to third.
On the first pitch to the next batter, Waits called for the suicide squeeze. For the second time this season, the Stallions’ bunter missed the pitch and Conigliaro was hung out to dry for the second out of the inning.
Feliu then bounced back and reached on an error and stole second. However, a strikeout ended the game with another one-run loss, Madera South’s third in the CMAC.