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Missed squeeze drops Stallions

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South pitcher Caleb Bertoncini throws a pitch during Tuesday’s extra inning loss to Edison.


After almost 300 pitches, a lightning delay through a cold, windy night, the Edison-Fresno Tigers scored seven times in the eighth inning to pick up a 7-4 County/Metro Athletic Conference victory at Eddie Chapa Field.

However, the game came down to a bases loaded situation in the bottom of the seventh inning with a missed squeeze bunt.

“Squeeze bunt, you have to at least get a piece of it,” head coach Bobby Waits said. “If he gets it on the grass, the game is over and I’m in bed about an hour ago. We didn’t execute to win the game. That just gave them momentum again and opened it up to the eighth inning.” Josh Conigliaro led the Stallions with three hits and Oscar Reyes had two more with two runs scored.

“We scored two in the first inning,” Waits said. “We saw the same pitcher for seven innings and don’t get any more on the same guy we did well on in the first. We’re still trying to figure out how to take a win from somebody. It’s not going to be given. Our guys are still learning how to do that. We’re going to continue to work hard in practice. We have time in league to figure out.”

The Stallions got the scoring started in the bottom of the first inning. Conigliaro led off the inning with a single to center. Jeremy Flores sacrificed him to second and Bertoncini grounded out to move Conigliaro to third.

Reyes singled home Conigliaro and started another rally. Alonzo Tovar doubled to the right-centerfield gap to drive on Reyes for a 2-0 lead.

However, the Stallions managed just three hits — two in the third — until the seventh inning. Meanwhile, Madera South starter Caleb Bertoncini tossed the first five innings and allowed two runs, both in the sixth inning. He struck out eight and walked a batter while allowing four hits.

Juan Carlos Gonzales suffered the loss on the mound. He allowed four runs, all in the eight inning, with four strikeouts, but also issued three walks and threw three wild pitches.

Bertoncini allowed a baserunner in each of the first five innings, except the third.

He ran into trouble in the sixth. He allowed a leadoff single and a fielding error allowed the batter to second. Another error on a sacrifice bunt drove in Edison’s first run. The next batter hit a double to tie the game.

After a strikeout, Edison got a single to put runners at first and third. The Tigers tried to score on a wild pitch, but Conigliaro gathered the ball in and dove to the plate to tag out the oncoming Tigers runner to keep the game tied.

Gonzales got out of the seventh inning with two strikeouts and a pickoff.

The Stallion put the pressure on in the seventh. Ramon Uribe led off the inning by reaching on an error. Brandon Goethe sacrificed Uribe to second. Pinch-hitter Angelo Feliu drew a walk and Conigliaro singled up the middle to load the bases.

With the bases loaded and one out, the squeeze bunt was the call. However, the Stallions batter missed the pitch and Uribe ran back to third and Feliu was tagged out for also being on third base to keep the game tied.

Madera South then got to Gonzales in the eighth with a pair of walks and two singles to take the lead. However, the inning also put Waits in a bind when catcher Josh Conigliaro was tossed from the game. Waits used all of his bench, including back-up catcher Brandon Gamiz, except Kingsley Thomas, who came into the game for Conigliaro.

Shortstop Oscar Reyes made his first appearance on the mound as did first baseman Gonzales at third and Bertoncini catching.

Unfortunately, Edison sent 10 batters to the plate and scored five runs to take a 7-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth.

Madera South didn’t go quietly, however. With one out, Reyes singled up the middle. After a strikeout, Manny Nunez singled to right. Uribe then walked to load the bases.

Gonzales singled down the right field line to drive in Reyes and Nunez to cut the lead to three. However, the next batter struck out to end the game.


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