For a Madera baseball team that heavily stresses pitching and defense, it was that combination along with some key hitting that helped the defending Div. II section champion Coyotes open the two-week Central Classic Tournament with a win.
On a fair weather Tuesday, Madera (4-1) got a solid pitching performance from sophomore Jonathon Mendrin while the Coyotes also finished with 10 hits in a 7-2 win over the Hanford West Huskies (1-2) on Mel Parker Field in the tourney opener.
Third-year head coach Andy Underwood — a Madera High alumni who last season guided the Coyotes to the school’s first Valley Championship since 1996 — got exactly what he and the coaching staff needed out of Mendrin and the defense.
“Defensively we looked pretty good,” Underwood said. “We pitched well and didn’t walk too many guys. We pitched to contact and made plays which is what the whole team is based off of; pitching first, defense second and offense third.” ...