Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Carlos Gonzales reaches down for one of his two hits in Tuesday’s loss.
With the Div. III playoffs a couple of weeks away, Madera South Stallions baseball coach Bobby Waits is getting his team ready for a run at a title game appearance.
Resting No. 1 and No. 2 starters, Waits turned to Peyton Kragie, Frank Chavira and Jalen Gray against Sanger. Although the trio allowed just four hits, it was the eight walks and four hit batters that did the damage. Three of the five runs received a free pass.
“My objective right now is getting my team ready for the playoffs,” Waits said. “So, I’m going to take it easy on Caleb (Bertoncini) and Carlos (Gonzales) because I need them fresh and crisp. It was my choice to not throw them. We’ll throw them both on Friday and it will be the same next week to get them ready for the playoffs.”
A two-out error, walk and hit batter allowed the Apaches score three runs in the third inning.
“Those other pitchers needed some innings,” Waits said. “Sanger had one hit through five innings. I want to see them hit the ball. You give them free passes and you put yourself in high pressure innings.”
Two walks and a fielder’s choice gave the Apaches a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning.
The Stallions got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the inning. Bertoncini led off with a single. He went to second on a Gonzales single and scored two batters later when Kingsley Thomas reached on an error.
“We didn’t hit well the first three innings,” Waits said. “He’s a great pitcher and he’s going to be an even better pitcher next year. We’ve seen him before and we helped him out. We made some adjustments and had some unfortunate plays. When you dig yourselves a hole, you’re begging for a break.”
Sanger pitcher Jake Harrell kept the Stallions from getting any closer, although Madera South left eight runners on base.
Madera South had another chance in the sixth inning. Gonzales led off with a single. Alonzo Tovar and Gray followed with singles to load the bases.
Seth Goodrich hit a scorcher down the first base line. The Sanger first baseman made the snag, tagged first base and threw to the plate to cut down pinch-runner Jaythan Meza trying to score to quiet the threat. A groundout back to Harrell ended the inning.
Sanger added another run in the seventh inning. A hit batter, walk and two singles sandwiched a double play to drive in Sanger’s fifth run of the game.
Harrell struck out two in the bottom of the seventh to secure a 5-2 Sanger victory.