Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Jordan De La Rosa keeps his eye on the ball for one of his two hits in Thursday’s loss to the Mt. Whitney Pioneers in Mel Parker Field.
The Madera Coyotes baseball team didn’t show signs of life until it was too late in a 4-2 loss to the Mt. Whitney-Visalia Pioneers in Mel Parker Field during the Coca-Cola Tournament.
Despite outhitting the Pioneers (9-8), the Coyotes only scored a pair of runs. Mt. Whitney took advantage of four walks against Coyotes’ starter Daniel Juarez and did enough damage against Isaac Murillo with seven hits and three runs, two earned over 2 2/3 innings for the win Thursday afternoon.
“We came out flat,” Madera head coach Andy Underwood said. “We were flat for five innings. There were a lot of 50/50 balls, lot of rollovers and odd plays. Each teams had opportunities on both sides. The first inning, they cost themselves some runs. We had some life in the sixth and seventh.”
Kristian Gomez led the Coyotes with three hits, including a double. Jordan De La Rosa and Jonathan Ramirez each had two hits while Caleb Cardoso recorded Madera’s lone RBI.
“There’s definitely some things to work on in all aspects of the game,” Underwood said. “We have to do a better throwing strikes and attacking hitters. We have to do a better job defensively and on the bases. Offensively, we have to do a better job of being selective of pitches we are swinging at.”
Mt. Whitney put the pressure on Juarez in the top of the first behind a pair of walks. Juarez got a groundout to second. Second baseman Devin Teran flipped to Kristian Gomez for the first out. Gomez’s throw to first was wild, but first baseman Nathan Palacioz played the carom perfectly off the dugout netting.
As he was coming up with the ball, a Mt. Whitney baserunner rounded third and headed to the plate. Palacioz threw a strike to catcher Raymond Perez for tag and the back end of an unconventional double play.
Juarez walked his third batter of the inning before getting a flyout to end the first.
Madera got on the scoreboard in the top of the second. Cardoso led off with a single to left. David Zavala and Evan Candelaria put down sacrifice bunts to move Cardoso to third.
On the first pitch to Murillo, Mt. Whitney threw a wild pitch through the catcher’s legs and Cardoso scored the first run of the game.
The Pioneers answered with a pair of runs in the third inning. After a flyout, Juarez walked his fourth batter of the game. Murillo came in and got a popout to short for the second out.
However, the Pioneers put four straight batters on base with an RBI double, a single, a walk and an RBI single for a 2-1 lead.
Mt. Whitney added another run in the fourth with a leadoff single. A sacrifice moved the runner to second. The next batter grounded out to third. The Pioneers’ runner took off for third, but Madera was late covering the bag and to receive a throw from Palacioz at first. The throw went into left field and the runner scored for a 3-1 lead.
The Pioneers added another run in the sixth on a single, sacrifice bunt, flyout and wild pitch.
Madera battled back in the sixth when Perez led off the inning with a liner to center. Gomez singled up the middle to put runners at first and second.
A flyout allowed both runners to move up 90 feet. Cardoso grounded out, but Perez scored while Gomez took second. A popout ended the threat.
Madera put a pair of runners on in the seventh. After a pair of strikeouts, De La Rosa singled to left. Ramirez reached on an infield single and De La Rosa advanced to third on an error. However, the game ended when Ramirez was caught trying to steal second.