Big inning dooms Stallions in loss
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Lawrence Espinoza pounds the ball into the ground during Tuesday’s loss to the Sanger Apaches.
Behind an explosive fifth inning, the Sanger Apaches baseball team took down Madera South, 10-0, during a rainy night at Eddie Chapa Field.
The Apaches, who led 1-0 after four innings, scored eight runs in the fifth inning to blow the game open Tuesday evening.
The Stallions faced Sanger ace Jake Harrell who allowed just three hits and struck out 11 and allowed just three baserunners in six innings.
Facing pitcher Seth Goodrich, the Apaches loaded the bases in the fifth and continued to pile on the runs.
Sanger senior Steven Martinez opened the floodgates with a blast to right field, driving in two runs to give the Apaches a 3-0 lead.
With Goodrich struggling to get out of a jam, freshman Bryan Malagon came in as the replacement.
“Seth has been good all year but he just got tired,” Madera South head coach Alan Sandoval said. “He has been throwing a lot. We definitely need to cut back on his innings.”
Malagon eventually ended the inning for the Stallions, but not before the Apaches scored six runs against him.
“Malagon came in and competed and got us out,” Sandoval said.
Sanger’s Darren Herring, Ryan Esparza, Alex Rodriguez, Nathan Padilla, Alex Avalos and Daniel Rodriguez each recorded an RBI with Malagon on the mound.
Sandoval said he was proud of his team competed despite getting stuck in a jam.
“In that situation, we just have to grind it out,” Sandoval said. “We just have to find it deep within ourselves. We just have to make our plays when we have to.”
With the Stallions down 9-0 in the sixth inning, senior Ivan Villafan took the mound for the Stallions.
Villafan managed to strike out two batters and allowed a hit, while giving an RBI to Alec Flores.
Sandoval said Villafan has been working hard on his sidearm pitching style throughout the offseason.
“He has been doing a great job for us all year,” Sandoval said. “He has been nasty throwing side arm. I could not ask for more from him.”
The Stallions dropped to 0-4 in league with the loss, but Sandoval said he is happy with his team’s progress.
“[Sanger] was in the same exact situation we were in four years ago,” Sandoval said. “They had a great freshman class just like we do. They were on varsity and they were getting beat. That’s where we’re at right now. We want to be Sanger in four years. It’s a great model for our boys.”
Goodrich pitched four innings against Sanger before running into trouble. He recorded four strikeouts and allowed six hits.
“I’m not concerned about wins or losses this year,” Sandoval said. “I’m just concerned about us getting better every single game.”