Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jonathan Ramirez puts down a bunt for a base hit during Friday’s 14-2 victory over the Madera South Stallions.
With a hitting barrage of 14 hits, including seven doubles, the Madera Coyotes baseball team comfortably put away the Madera South Stallions, 14-2, at Mel Parker Field.
After the Coyotes defeated the Stallions 3-2 to open the County/Metro Athletic Conference season, Madera put any thoughts of a Stallions victory to rest by outscoring its neighbor 25-3 last week.
“We did play well. It was a good bounce back game from Wednesday.” Madera head coach Andy Underwood said. “It was embarrassing for us all. We took one on the chin. That’s baseball. We tried to get better Thursday.”
The Coyotes rebounded from a 4-0 loss to defending Div. V champion Liberty on Wednesday before Friday’s win over the Stallions.
“We’re an inconsistent team and we’re trying to become consistent,” Underwood said. “We’re heading in the right direction. If we continue to run bases hard and have the right approach and mentality, it will be just fine.”
Shane Pursell, who went four-for-fiour, hit two doubles with two runs scored. Tommy Molina also hit two doubles and drove in three runs. The top four batters in the Coyotes’ order — Cole Brincefield, Pursell, Molina and Nikayha Castro — combined for eight hits, six doubles, with nine runs scored. Brincefield, Castro and David Monge each hit doubles.
Nikayha Castro allowed two runs over seven innings. He didn’t strike out a batter, but scattered five hits and walked one batter. He retired the first 10 batters of the game.
“Nikayha has stepped up to be our stud on the mound,” Underwood said. “(Alek) Trukki has to step into the No. 2 spot. He has great stuff, but he just has to command it and throw strikes and he’ll be good. We’ll still trying to find some bullpen pieces.”
The Coyotes will next face Sanger and ace Jake Harrell for two games this week.
“Sanger, Bullard-Fresno and San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno beat us in the first round,” Underwood said. “It’s going to be three big weeks for us. I’m hoping we can split with all of them, if not better.”
The Stallions had just five hits in the game, all from the top five batters in the game. Seth Goodrich had two hits and Jalen Gray hit a double.
The Coyotes got off to a quick start to open the game against Madera South freshman Murf Gray.
Brincefield led off the bottom of the first with a single up the middle. Pursell followed with a hustle double to centerfield.
Molina hit a ball to left center for a double to drive in Brincefield and Pursell. Molina advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a sacrifice fly from Aaron Benevidez.
The Coyotes added to the lead in the third. Brincefield led off the inning with a double. After Brincefield took third on a wild pitch, Molina hit a double off the centerfield fence to drive in Brincefield.
Castro hit a drive to right-center for another double to drive in Molina. Jonathan Ramirez reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and third. Hernandes singled up the middle to drive in Castro for a 6-0 lead.
Madera South got on the scoreboard in the fourth inning. With one out in the fourth, Jalen Gray doubled to left-center. Murf Gray drew a walk.
Chris Jones singled down the right field line to drive in Jalen Gray. Seth Goodrich singled to left to drive in Murf Gray to cut the lead to 6-2.
Madera answered back with two runs in the fourth. David Monge drew a walk to lead off the inning. Brincefield reached on an error. Pursell put down a bunt, but beat it out. A wild throw allowed Monge to score and put runners at second and third.
Two batters later, Castro grounded out, but Brincefield scored for an 8-2 lead.
Meanwhile, Castro settled down and allowed two baserunners over the final three innings to silence the Stallions.
Madera closed the game with six runs in the bottom of the sixth. Monge led off the inning with a double to left-center.
After a line drive out, Pursell doubled down the left field line to drive in Monge. Molina reached on an error. Castro hit a fly ball that was dropped for an error as Pursell scored. Benevidez singled to load the bases.
Ramirez followed with a single up the middle to drive in pinch-runner Noah Angulo and Castro. After Hernandes singled to load the bases, Caleb Galindo flew out to center to drive in Benevidez and Caleb Cardoso got a pinch-hit, RBI single to drive in Ramirez for the 14th, and final, run of the game.