Unlucky liner downs Stallions

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Caleb Bertoncini hits a single up the middle to drive in the tying run Friday before the Stallions lost in extra innings to Bullard.


If Madera South baseball head coach Bobby Waits could have drawn it up, it would look like it did Friday in the bottom of the seventh against Bullard.

The Stallions, who trailed Bullard since the first inning, scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the seventh.

Madera South’s No. 3 batter Caleb Bertoncini singled home Jeremy Flores to tie the game. Clean-up hitter Carlos Gonzales came to the plate with a chance to send the Stallions home happy.

He worked the count full. With two outs, Bertoncini would be off with the pitch with Peyton Kragie, representing the winning run, leading off third.

Gonzales got the pitch he wanted and hit a liner to right field. The ball looked destined for right field and Kragie would score the game-winning run. However, Bertoncini, going on the pitch, did all he could, but couldn’t avoid the liner, resulting in the third out of the inning.

Bullard scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning to hand the Stallions their fourth straight County/Metro Athletic Conference extra inning loss Friday at Eddie Chapa Field.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” head coach Bobby Waits said. “I’ve never seen a walk-off hit like it. Carlos smoked it. The ball was crushed and Caleb couldn’t get out of the way. It’s kind of the way things have been going for us.”

With a little bit of luck, the Stallions could be looking at a 6-1 record instead of a 1-6 CMAC record.

“As soon as we get over the hump, I tell them we’ll get rolling,” Waits said. “It’s hard to find new news to tell them. We’re not getting blown out against teams higher than us in division.

“We’ve won close games this year,” Waits said. “It’s just a matter of getting a win. I don’t care if it’s one run or a blow out. We need to get things clicking for us. We have a good team. It will start happening. We have to keep believing.”

Gonzales tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball. He struck out six and allowed one run.

Bullard got on the board in the first inning. Gonzales walked the lead-off batter. He stole second and went to third on a groundout. Gonzales walked the next batter and struck out another for the second out. However, Bullard came through with a two-out single to drive in a run. Gonzales got himself out of the inning by picking off a runner off second.

From there, Gonzales cruised despite allowing a runner in every inning except one.

Madera South left the bases loaded in the first and two on in the second, but couldn’t push over the tying run. They also stranded Jalen Gray at second after a one-out double.

The Stallions put together a two-out, nobody on rally to tie the game. Flores was hit by a pitch to get the rally started. Kragie then singled down the left field line to put runners at first and second.

Bertoncini hit a seeing-eye single up the middle to drive in Flores and send Kragie to third to set up Gonzales.

Bullard sent eight batters to the plate and took advantage of four walks, a run scoring single and a run scoring double to take a 3-1 led to the bottom of the eighth.

The Stallions were retired in order to give them another extra inning CMAC loss.