Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Christian Chavira reaches for a ball that fell for a single during the third inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Bullard Knights.
After suffering through a frustrating weekend, the Madera Coyotes baseball team was hoping to bounce back against the Bullard-Fresno Knights.
However, more frustration occurred after Madera built an early 3-0 lead. First, Coyote head coach Andy Underwood was ejected. Second, starting pitcher Christian Chavira lasted just 2 2/3 innings and walked five batters. Third, Bullard scored seven runs in the third and cruised to a 7-4 victory Tuesday at Mel Parker Field.
The Coyotes pitching staff walked seven batters despite holding the Knights to just three hits. In addition, the Coyotes committed five errors, resulting in three unearned runs. The Coyotes outhit the Knights 6-3, but left eight runners on base.
Madera got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Lead-off batter Shane Pursell drew a walk. Jerry Hernandez drew a four-pitch walk and Chavira reached on an error.
Brian Hefner singled sharply to left to drive in Pursell. Tony Noriega and Kristian Gomez followed with back-to-back sacrifice flies to score Hernandez and Chavira for a 3-0 lead.
Chavira got help from two double plays in the first two innings on the mound.
However, he ran into a buzzsaw in the third inning. A lead-off walk started the rally. After a flyout to left, Bullard got a single. Another single drove in a run. A walk loaded the bases.
The next batter reached on an error. A walk forced in another run and that’s when Underwood was tossed. A hit by pitch scored another run and a flyout to right sent the fifth run of the inning to score.
A walk loaded the bases and an error scored two more runs for a seven-run inning after sending 12 batters to the plate. Madera committed five errors in the inning.
From there, Coyote pitching held the Knights in check. They allowed three baserunners over the last four innings. Brixton Gomes retired the last six batters in a row he faced and Nikayha Castro left a one-out double stranded in the seventh.
Isaac Chavira led off the fourth with a walk, but the next three batters were retired to end the inning. In the fifth, Hernandez led off with a walk, but he was forced at second by Chaviara. Hefner then hit into a double play to end the fifth.
Madera had its best chance to cut into Bullard’s lead in the sixth. Tony Noriega led off with a single to right. He went to third when Gomez’s fly ball to right was dropped for an error. However, the next three Coyotes were reited in order, two by strikeout to end the threat.
In the seventh, Chavira started a two-out rally with a single up the middle. He went to second on defensive indifference and to third on a wild pitch. Noriega followed with a single to center to drive in a run. The next batter flied out on the first pitch to right to end the game.