Coyote baseball falters against Bullard


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera’s Anthony Velasquez drives in a Coyote run during Friday’s loss to Bullard. He also tossed three scoreless innings.

 

The Madera Coyotes baseball team couldn’t make returning to Mel Parker Field a successful one in a County/Metro Athletic Conference loss to the Bullard-Fresno Knights.

The Coyotes committed four errors in a 7-2 loss Friday in their first game at Mel Parker Field since a wind storm knocked a telephone onto the backstop 364 days previous.

“That was fun and exciting,” head coach Andy Underwood said. “I think the players were excited for it. It’s not fully completed, but it’s good to play here.”

However, after winning its first five games of the CMAC, Madera has lost seven of eight, including sweeps to Sanger and Bullard.

“We lost seven of the last eight and our M.O. is not being able to make the fundamental plays,” Underwood said. “We can’t stick with the plan offensively, we’re not making simple plays and making things difficult for us. We haven’t been very tough the last eight games. That’s the truth.”

The Coyotes committed four errors and while it didn’t directly result in unearned runs, the errors allowed Bullard to keep innings going.

While the defense was struggling, the offense only had four hits and scored runs in the third and seventh innings.

Nick Martinez had a 10-pitch, 1-2-3 first inning. However, he allowed seven runs over the next three innings. Anthony Velasquez quieted the Bullard bats and retired five in a row through the sixth and allowed two hits over the final three innings.

Bullard got on the scoreboard in the second inning after a lead-off, four-pitch walk. A single and balk moved runners to second and third.

Martinez got the next batter to hit a grounder to Kristian Gomez at third, who threw to Isaac Chavira at the plate to cut down a runner for the first out.

The next batter put down a sacrifice bunt, but Martinez threw the ball into right field to put runners at first and third. Martinez settled down with a strikeout and flyout to get out of the inning.

In the top of the third, a one-out hit by pitch started another rally. Two singles and a two-run double gave the Knights a 3-0 lead.

The Coyotes answered in the bottom of the third, starting with a Shane Pursell single. Caleb Pursell sacrificed his brother to second. Shane Pursell moved to third on a groundout and scored on Nick Martinez’s double to left-centerfield.

Adam Medellin was hit by a pitch and Chavira drew a walk to load the bases, but a groundout ended the Coyote threat.

The Knights scored four times in the fourth and took advantage of two Coyote errors and a two-run home run to open a 7-1 lead.

Meanwhile, the Coyotes couldn’t mount a threat to Bullard until the bottom of the seventh inning trailing by six runs. Brian Hefner started the seventh with a single up the middle.

He went to second on a wild pitch and came in to score when Velasquez reached on a throwing error for the 7-2 final.

The Coyotes will try to rebound this week against San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno. They play at SJM on Tuesday and host the Panthers on Friday.

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