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Big inning earns bragging rights

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera Babe Ruth’s David Zavala hits a double during Tuesday’s exhibition game with the IPM Yard Dogs. Zavala had both of Madera’s hits in the loss.


In an exhibition game to help raise money for the Madera Babe Ruth 13-year-old All Star team, the IPM Yard Dogs 14-under travel baseball team didn’t do the all-stars any favors in a 7-3 victory at Madera South’s Eddie Chapa Field.

The Madera Babe Ruth All-Star team won the NorCal State championship last weekend in Bakersfield and are traveling next week to the Pacific Southwest Regionals in Vernal, Utah. The two teams met in a friendly, but highly competitive exhibition game that should match the intensity the Babe Ruth all-stars will see at the regionals.

However, it was the older Yard Dogs that came away with the victory, highlighted by a six-run third inning, over the all-stars.

The Yard Dogs pitching staff of starter Danny Juarez, Zack Roque, winning pitcher Izaak Murillo, Andrew Mares, Nate Martinez and Tanner Sagouspe held Madera to just two hits — a single and double from David Zavala.

However, other than a six-run third inning, the Madera Babe Ruth pitching of starter Josh Castro, Charlie Monterrosa, losing pitcher Ivin Ponce, Matthew DeFranco, David Ramirez and Murf Gray held Yard Dogs to just seven hits. Four of the pitchers allowed one or zero hits.

Leadoff batter Jonathan Ramirez was the only Yard Dogs batter to record more than two hits. A.J. Rocha scored a pair of runs and Nate Martinez drove in two.

What hurt both teams were the walks. Yard Dogs kept Madera in the game with eight walks and four wild pitches. Meanwhile, Madera walked six batters and struck out just four batters. Four of Yard Dogs’ seven runs were earned.

Babe Ruth started the scoring in the bottom of the third inning. Evan Candelaria led off by reaching on a single. He went to second on a Logan Wattenbarger walk and a David Zavala walk loaded the bases.

After a flyout, Yard Dogs’ Roque tried to pick off Wattenbarger at second, but threw the ball into centerfield. Candelaria came in to score the first run of the game on the error while Wattenbarger and Zavala advanced on another throwing error. Gray drew a walk to load he bases again, but a popup ended the inning.

The run woke up the sleeping Yard Dogs, who sent 11 batters to the plate during a six-run fourth inning.

Raymond Perez started the rally with a walk. After a Sagouspe walk, Rocha doubled home Perez. Danny Juarez reached on an error after a dropped popup. Sagouspe scored on the error and Rocha scored on Roque’s squeeze bunt for a 3-0 lead.

Martinez singled home Juarez to open a four-run lead. After Martinez stole second, Ryan Cosgrove walked. On a wild pitch to Isaac Flores, Roque was thrown out at the plate for the first out of the inning. Flores was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Murillo flew out to right and Martinez scored.

After Jonathan Ramirez singled to left to re-load the bases, Perez singled home Cosgrove for a 6-0 lead.

The Babe Ruth All-Stars battled back in the fifth. Monterrosa led off the inning with a walk, but he was forced at second. J.R. Garcia followed with another walk.

With Candelaria at the plate, Isaiah Monge scored on a wild pitch and another wild pitch moved Garcia to third. After Candelaria walked, another wild pitch scored Garcia to cut the lead to 6-3. However, Madera hit into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.

Yard Dogs added another run in the fifth. Rocha was hit by a pitch, went to second on a Danny Juarez walk and went to third on Roque’s fielder’s choice. Martinez flew out to center and Rocha scored for a 7-3 lead.

Babe Ruth loaded the bases in the fifth after a Zavala double, a Michael Monreal walk, a Gray fielder’s choice and a David Ramirez walk, but a called strike three ended the threat.

The Yard Dogs put together a two-out bases loaded threat in the seventh, but Gray picked off a runner at third to end the inning.

Madera put a runner on in the seventh, but he was caught trying to steal second by Flores to end the game.

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