Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Sam Hass doubled and singled home a run in Thursday’s loss to Bullard.
Although the Madera Coyotes baseball team held a one-run lead heading into the final three outs, the Bullard-Fresno Knights found a way to put two runners across to take the County/Metro Athletic Conference matchup, 6-5, at Mel Parker Field.
Coming off a 10-7 defeat in the first game of the series Tuesday on the road, the Coyotes looked to their best pitcher to get them back on top Thursday afternoon.
Nikayha Castro got the start for the Coyotes and went six innings, allowing five earned runs. Castro was in line for the win, but a game-tying home run changed the game in favor of the Knights.
Madera’s approach at the plate paid dividends with a few hard-hit balls, including leadoff doubles in the second, third and fourth innings.
Tommy Molina had a two-run hit in the bottom of the fourth, including a deep shot to centerfield that landed him a double and Sam Hass doubled, walked and singled home a run in the bottom of the fifth.
The Coyotes found chances, but couldn’t get them across the plate. Unfortunately, that allowed the Knights back into the game.
After both teams opened the first inning with a pair of runs, Castro rebounded with a shutout top of the second inning.
Jonathon Ramirez opened the second inning with a leadoff double to left field. After an out, Hass walked to give Madera two men on, but once again, they made an out.
Cole Brincefield walked to load the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded, an an opportunity came for Madera as a passed ball by the Bullard catcher allowed Ramirez to score. for a 2-1 lead.
The Knights retied the game at two in the top of the third inning.
Madera had a chance in its third inning after Molina doubled to center with nobody out, but he was left on the bases.
In the bottom of the fourth, the Coyotes had their best inning.
Cameron Hernandes and Hass doubled in the inning, Molina drove in two runs and the Coyotes took a 4-2 lead.
The Coyotes were hitting the ball well, but the Knights were starting to wake up as well.
In the top of the fifth inning, the Knights scored two runs to tie the game at four, but once again, the Coyotes had an answer.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hass singled home Kristian Gomez to retake the lead 5-4.
However, in the of the seventh inning a home run and subsequent RBI hit gave the Knights a lead.
Madera couldn’t find an answer this time as Bullard took the game 6-5.