Stallions’ youth shows in opener
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Jalen Gray connects on a pitch during Tuesday’s opening day loss to the Washington Union Panthers at Eddie Chapa Field.
First game jitters showed for the Madera South Stallions baseball team in its first game of the season at Eddie Chapa Field.
The Stallions allowed eight unanswered runs in an 11-4 loss in the opening game of the Immanuel Baseball tournament under first-year head coach Alan Sandoval.
“Our youth definitely showed,” Sandoval said. “We only have one guy with varsity pitching experience. We started two freshmen and a sophomore and six players without varsity experience. It’s a process. We’re going to learn from this and go in a right direction.”
Stallions’ starter Chris Jones, a transfer from Fresno High School, battled through 3 2/3 innings. He allowed six runs, all earned, but on just three hits. He walked four and hit three batters.
“Chris was a little pumped up and nervous,” Sandoval said. “He threw the ball well, but the jitters got to him. He’s a senior throwing for the first time for a new team. He’s never thrown in high school. We saw some good things from him.”
Joel Guillen led the Stallions at the plate with two hits, including a double. He scored one of the four runs. Freshman Brian Monges drew a walk in his first varsity at-bat and also drove in two runs.
Panthers’ soft-tosser Ryan Hernandez didn’t allow a run over the final five innings. He struck out three and walked a pair and allowed two hits.
“We didn’t make the adjustment,” Sandoval said. “We work a lot of going the other way and getting the ball over the second basema. We didn’t do that. Both our freshmen, Brian Monges and Bryan Malagon, had success because they didn’t try to do too much.”
The Panthers got on the scoreboard first with a hit batter, double, wild pitch and a safety squeeze. They added another run in the second on a walk, wild pitch, single and a force out for a 3-0 lead.
Madera South answered back with a pair of runs in the second. Guillen was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Lawrence Espinoza drew a walk. Bryan Malagon tried to sacrifice the runners over, but the pitcher threw the ball away to first and Guillen scored while Espinoza advanced to third.
Monges then reached on a bunt single and Espinoza scored the second run of the inning.
A forceout, groundout and strikeout ended the threat.
Madera South took its only lead in the third. Seth Goodrich lead off the inning with a walk. Jonathan Uribe tried to bunt Goodrich to second, but the first baseman dropped the throw for an error while Goodrich took second.
After Uribe stole second, Guillen walked to load the bases. Espinoza drew another walk to force in Goodrich to tie the game.
In came Hernandez for the Panthers. He got a strikeout for the first out, but Monges flew out to center, but it was deep enough for Uribe to score the go-ahead run.
However, over the final four innings, the Stallions had five baserunners and just one reached third.
The Panthers took advantage of two walks and two hit batsmen to score five runs in the fourth. Another hit batsman and an error drove in a run in the fifth. Two more walks and a single drove in a run in the sixth and a hit batter and two singles drove in another un in the seventh for the 11-4 victory.