Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Shane Pursell goes airborne to slide into home plate to score a run behind Madera South catcher Seth Goodrich. Pursell scored three runs in Madera’s 13-4 victory over Madera South
Despite a bit of controversy, the Madera Coyotes baseball team used a 10-run fifth inning to take control of a close game against crosstown rival Madera South for a 13-4 victory at Mel Parker Field.
On a night where all eight seniors received the start for the Coyotes, the team didn’t disappoint despite falling behind 4-3 heading into the fifth inning. Madera sent 14 batters to the plate in Tuesday’s decisive inning.
“It kind of closes the door and puts away the anxiety a little bit,” head coach Andy Underwood said. “The game isn’t over. We still have to compete and finish it because they are just as capable of doing the same thing.”
The game was halted in the top of the fifth inning after Caleb Bertoncini hit a two run home run to give Madera South the lead and after Carlos Gonzales flew out to deep center.
After a long delay, the umpires took the bat the pair used out of the game. However, another long delay occurred after the umpires tried to figure out what the punishment was. The game was finally restarted and it became a moot point after Madera’s big inning.
The Coyotes banged out 10 hits in the game, including doubles from Tony Noriega and Mathew Ylarregui and a triple from Christian Chavira.
“We started the year off really hot and the offense carried us,” Underwood said. “Then, we had that five game skid. We’re getting back to being able to come back on teams and our offense is swinging it right now. Our pitching is solid. To win games, you have to have two of the three and we’re close to having all three going.”
Brixton Gomes got the start and the no-decision. He allowed seven hits over four innings of work to go with two runs with three strikeouts. Kristian Gomez tossed the final three innings. He allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and earned the victory.
Carlos Gonzales tossed 4 1/3 innings for Madera South and was lifted in the ill-fated fifth inning after having to wait out the delays. He struck out four, but walked six.
The Stallions got the scoring started in the top of the second. Jalen Gray doubled to deep left field. After a strikeout, Ramon Uribe singled to center and Gray scored the first run of the game. Uribe stole second and went to third on A.J. Rocha’s infield single. Gomes got out of the inning by getting a double play from second baseman Shane Pursell. It was Pursell’s first innings at second base all season.
Madera answered in the bottom of the second. Cole Brincefield led off with a single up the middle. Noriega drew a walk, but Brincfield was thrown out trying to steal third.
After a groundout, Isaac Chavira singled up the middle to put runners at first and second. Ylarregui attacked the first pitch he saw and sent a one-hopper over the left field fence for a ground-rule double to drive in Noriega.
Jerry Hernandez drew a walk to load the bases. Chavira then scored on a wild pitch to Christian Chavira for a 2-1 lead.
Madera added to its lead in the third. Pursell led off with a walk. Brian Hefner followed with a single to right. Pursell went to third on the play. Madera South tried to get Hefner trying to take the extra base. Pursell broke for the plate and easily beat the throw. However, Hefner was tagged out in a rundown for the first out.
“Shane is running like a crazy man,” Underwood said. “He’s hitting .455 in league. He’s just been a wild man on the bases. He’s the fastest kid I’ve had out here. He’s very heads up. That play where he took third and home. That’s next-level stuff right now. He’s a little shifty guy.
Madera South cut the lead to one with two outs and nobody on in the fourth. Uribe was hit by a pitch and stole second. He scored on Rocha’s single up the middle.
With one out in the fifth, Peyton Kragie singled. On the next pitch Bertoncini launched a two-run home run over the centerfield fence to give the Stallions a 4-3 lead.
Gonzales flew out to deep center, but it was the sound of the hit and the color of the bat that drew the umpire’s interest and led to the long delay.
Then, the fifth inning happened. Hernandez led off with a single up the middle and went to second on a wild pitch. Christian Chavira hit a slow chopper down the third base line for a single. A wild throw allowed Hernandez to score.
Pursell drew a walk and Hefner singled to load the bases. After a strikeout, Noriega hit a fly ball down the right field line. Chavira easily scored and Pursell beat the throw to the plate while Noriega stood at second with a double.
Kristian Gomez drew a walk to load the bases. Isaac Chavira drew a walk to force in Hefner for a 7-4 lead and chase Gonzales.
Frank Chavira came in relief and threw a wild pitch to Ylarregui to score Noriega. Ylarregui reached on an error to load the bases again. After a strikeout, Christian Chavira tripled over the centerfielder’s head to drive in Gomez, pinch-runner Nick Luna and Ylarregui.
Chavira came in to score on a wild pitch to Pursell. Pursell drew a walk, went to second on a passed ball and scored from second on an error on a hit by Hefner for the 10th run of the inning.
With the comfortable lead, Gomez cruised through the next six batters to end the game with a double play.