Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Caleb Bertoncini picked up the win over Bullard on Thursday with four innings pitched. He helped the Stallions to their first victory over the County/Metro Athletic Conference foe.
The Madera South Stallions baseball and softball team and the Liberty Hawks baseball team were able to play around weekend rain and pick up important victories.
The Stallions defeated Bullard-Fresno on Thursday afternoon in a game that was moved up a day because of Friday’s impending storm. It was the first time the Stallions beat the Knights in the County/Metro Athletic Conference.
In Kerman, the Stallions softball team picked up a 13-0 victory over Corcoran in the Kerman Lions Easter Classic, but dropped its second game to Dos Palos, 6-3 on Saturday.
The Liberty Hawks baseball team continued its hot play with two victories to open the Fowler Raisin Classic on Saturday.
Madera South 4, Bullard 3
The Stallions scored the first four runs in the game and held off the Bullard Knights for another one-run victory.
The Stallions, who have had five one-run decisions in seven games in the CMAC, allowed a run in the second and two runs in the fifth.
“We jumped on Bullard’s pitcher early with three in the first and another run in the second, but nothing afterwards,” head coach Bobby Waits said. “Their pitcher is not going to strike out a lot of guys and sit back to hit hard grounders. The first time we faced him, we had 12 flyouts. He’s a guy you have to focus on.
“We did that really well for the first three innings. We got a little too comfortable. I’m grateful we’re able to win a close game at the end. It’s good to keep us around in league and to be able to know we can win these kinds of games.”
The win was especially nice for Waits, who is a Bullard alum, but also reflected on getting the proverbial monkey off his team’s back of not being able to close out a team.
“Not only beating Bullard at their field, but the first team to do it in a while,” Waits said. “We have a special group of guys that are talented. They have to figure it out and finish teams out at the end.”
Waits used his top pitching combination for the victory. Caleb Bertoncini picked up the victory with four innings pitched. Jiovanni Saavedra came in and finished the final three innings for the save.
“I knew going in, I was going to throw those two,” Waits said. “I wanted to see how the game played out. Because we have four or five games coming up next week, I wanted to throw more than one guy. Jio didn’t throw too many pitches so he’s available to throw on Monday against the highest ranked team we will face. They both threw great. They both did everything I could have hoped for.”
The Stallions next play in San Diego for an Easter week tournament.
Carlos Hernandez keyed the offense with a two-run double. Josh Conigliaro scored two runs and also hit a double.
Stallions split in Kerman
Dodging the raindrops, the Stallions softball team scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to close out the Corcoran Panthers in the first game of the Kerman Easter Classic.
Jessie Maciel led the Stallions with a double and a single. She drove in three and scored two runs. Makenna Nevarez went 3-for-3 with two runs scored and drove in a run.
Savaanah Garcia and A.J. Martinez also drove in a pair of runs. Ten Stallions either drove in a run, scored a run or had a hit.
Taylor Valerio picked up the win in the circle. She allowed three hits over three innings with two strikeouts.
Erica Valdez struck out three in two innings in relief of Valerio.
However, the Stallions allowed six runs in the first two innings against the Dos Palos Broncos and couldn’t recover in a 6-3 loss in the second game Saturday.
Martinez suffered the loss in the circle. She tossed 1 2/3 innings and allowed all six runs, but just two of the runs were earned. Valdez finished the game allowing one hit over the final 3 1/3 innings. Martinez was the victim of two Dos Palos home runs. Valdez and Maciel each had two hits for the Stallions. Maciel also hit a solo home run.
Hawks keeps winning streak
The Liberty Hawks baseball team opened the North Sequoia League with seven straight victories and kept the momentum going with a pair of wins Saturday at the Fowler Easter Classic while dodging the rain.
The Hawks held the Blue Raiders to just two runs. Meanwhile, the Hawks scored seven runs on 10 hits to record their eighth straight victory.
Bradley Moon led the Hawks with three hits and Cody Hill had two hits with two runs scored.
Nathaneal Samarin picked up the win with three innings pitched. He allowed two hits with two strikeouts. Brixton Gomes tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed three hits and an unearned run.
In its second game against the Taft Wildcats, the Liberty baseball team scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to walk off with a 9-7 victory.
Taft had three pitchers toss the seventh inning that didn’t record an out. The trip combined for four walks, two hits and four runs allowed.
Meanwhile, Grant McFarland allowed five runs on just three hits over five innings with six strikeouts. Of the five runs he allowed, none were earned.
Despite getting just four hits in the game, the Hawks managed to outscore the Wildcats. They also drew 10 walks.
Markie Brandt led the Hawks with a single, double, two RBIs and scored a run. Chris Estrada and Isaiah Torres each scored three runs. Estrada and Eli Gonzalez each drove in two runs in the win.