Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Ramon Uribe hits a single during the seventh inning of Tuesday’s extra inning victory over the Edison Tigers. He reached base three times in four plate appearances.
The Madera South Stallions appeared in four extra inning games in seven County/Metro Athletic Conference games and lost all of them.
The Stallions finally got over the proverbial hump with a walk-off victory over the Edison-Fresno Tigers in the eighth inning at Eddie Chapa Field.
The Stallions scored the game-tying run Tuesday in the sixth inning and Alonzo Tovar hit a walk-off double to drive in Caleb Bertoncini from first base with two outs in the eighth inning Tuesday.
“I got to third and almost died,” Bertoncini said. “I ran out of air. The pitch before that, I tied my shoes because I knew I had to score on anything.”
“I just wanted to get on base and that happened,” Tovar said. “It felt good off the bat.”
Although the Stallions got the win, Madera South head coach Bobby Waits knows the game shouldn’t have gone into extra innings. The Stallions left 15 runners on base, including the bases loaded in three straight innings.
“I congratulated the team,” Waits said. “The first thing I said after that was we can’t leave that many guys on. We managed to get runners on with those pitchers. We have to put the ball in play. We have to make contact. Strikeouts don’t put any pressure on the defense. They’ve already proven they were shaky on defense.”
Tovar, who has been struggling at the plate, reached on a bunt single in the seventh and then hit the game-winning double in the eighth.
“It felt really good,” Tovar said. “It was something I needed. I have been struggling a lot. It’s been getting me down and I needed that. Getting on base made me feel a lot better on the bunt single.”
“That was the other thing I talked about,” Waits said. “Alonzo has been on varsity for three years. He’s a great player. No one has struggled more this season than him. He’s slowly starting to get out of it. Nobody needed it more than Alonzo to have a walk-off hit. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I haven’t jumped up and down like that ever. Five extra innings in eight league games is unheard of.”
Edison scored an unearned run in the first after a lead-off single, walk, an error and a two-out single.
The Stallions came right back to tie the game in the bottom of the first. Jeremy Flores led off the bottom of the first with a single. He went to second on a Peyton Kragie groundout and scored on a pair of errors to tie the score. However, the Stallions left runners at second and third with a pair of groundouts.
Madera South took the lead in the bottom of the second. With one out, Oscar Velasquez singled. He went to second on a Ramon Uribe walk. Flores singled into right field and Velasquez scored for a 2-1 lead.
Edison tied the score in the third. A one out double followed by a hit batter and a single tied the score.
The Tigers took a 3-2 lead with a run in the fourth. A ground rule double led off the inning. The next batter put down a bunt and reached on an error. A single drove in the go-ahead run.
The Stallions had their chance to take the lead in the late innings. Kragie led off the fifth with a single. After a groundout, Carlos Gonzales doubled down the right field line. Jalen Gray was intentionally walked, but back-to-back strikeouts ended the inning.
With one out in the sixth, Uribe led off the sixth by reaching on an error. After a flyout, Kragie reached on an error and Uribe advanced to third. Bertoncini walked to load the bases. Gonzales was hit by a pitch to force in Uribe to tie the score. The next batter struck out to end the inning.
Meanwhile, Bertoncini kept the Tigers off the scoreboard. He allowed back-to-back singles in the fifth, but he struck out the next batter. Bertoncini got a lineout to Kragie at second. Kragie doubled up an Edison runner to end the inning.
Gonzales relieved Bertoncini in the seventh and recorded two strikeouts to send the game to the bottom of the seventh.
Tovar led off the bottom of the seventh with a bunt single. However, A.J. Rocha forced him at second. Velasquez was hit by a pitch and Uribe singled to left to load the bases.
However, the Stallions struck out and hit into a forceout to end the inning.
After Gonzales retired the side in order in eighth, the Stallions finally broke through in the eighth.
Bertoncini led off the eighth with a single off pitcher Ian Kelly’s hand. Kelly bounced back with two strikeouts.
On the third pitch, Tovar hit a liner to right field. The Edison right fielder took two steps in and then leapt to try to catch the ball he misplayed. The ball went over his glove and Bertoncini raced from first to score the game-winning run and give the Stallions their first extra inning win in five tries in the CMAC.