Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Brian Malagon throws a pitch during Wednesday’s loss to the Fowler Redcats.
Youth and inexperience are still hurting the Madera South Stallions baseball team, but head coach Alan Sandoval is still confident his team will turn things around in the upcoming season.
“We’re going to be okay,” Sandoval said. “I’m not worried. We’re going to settle down. I would rather have it happen now than at the end of the year. We are a completely different team than last year. We are a good team this year.”
The Stallions committed five error, which led to five unearned runs, walked six batters and hit two more in a 9-0 loss Wednesday to the Fowler Redcats at Eddie Chapa Field in the Central Valley Diamond Classic.
“I have to remember not to schedule any more Wednesday night games next year,” Sandoval said. “We just can’t make errors. That first inning, we had a big error. We had a good defensive player make an error. As a young team, we can’t make any errors.”
Meanwhile, the Stallions were limited to just four hits — singles from Murf Gray, Joel Guillen, Anthony Gamiz and Lawrence Espinoza — by Fowler standout Parker Renteria. In four inning, Renteria struck out nine batters and allowed just two hits, but threw 68 pitches.
“Renteria is going to be a Div. I college recruit,” Sandoval said. “We battled against him. We got the pitch count up. Their coach was even mentioning that even though we are a young team, we were very close to scoring some runs and making it a game.”
The Redcats scored four runs to open the game. A single and an error on a sacrifice bunt put two runners on base. A walk loaded the bases. A single drove in two runs and a single and an error allowed two unearned runs to score for the early lead.
Renteria was mowing through the Madera South offense, allowing just one batter over the minimum through the first three innings. The only blemish was an infield single by Guillen in the second. Renteria struck out six through the first three innings.
Gray led off the fourth with a single and went to second on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, A.J. Rocha drew a walk, but two more strikeouts ended the Stallions’ threat.
Fowler added four more runs in the fourth with four walks and one hit, including another unearned run for an 8-0 lead.
The Redcats added another run in the sixth, which started on a lead-off walk. A single up the middle, followed by an error loaded the bases. A groundout to first drove in another run for the second out.
Madera South put runners on base in the final three innings. Gamiz led off the fifth with a single and Espinoza singled Gamiz to second. Unfortunately, Gamiz was doubled off of second after Jonathan Spraggins lined out.
Brian Monges drew a walk and Gray was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but another strikeout ended the inning.
With one out in the sixth, Leo Hernandez drew a walk. Guillen drew another walk and a groundout advanced the runners to second and third. Once again, another strikeout ended the inning.
Gray walked in the seventh, but a popout ended the game.