Coyotes honor seniors with win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera senior Cameron Hernandes watches his ball in the air during Tuesday’s victory over the Edison Tigers. He was honored, along with seven other teammates on Senior Night.
The Madera Coyotes baseball team did the best thing they could do to honor its eight seniors during the final regular season home game at Mel Parker Field — win the game.
After losing two straight to San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno, the Coyotes scored 13 runs in the first two innings and cruised to a 14-3 victory Tuesday evening.
“The way we have been playing, it’s a big relief for the win,” head coach Andy Underwood said. “First to put up a zero in the first and Nikayha (Castro) did a good job on that. Then, to put up four runs puts you a little at ease. To follow that up with a nine spot in the second inning, the game is put away at that point. It’s just a matter of going out there and throwing strikes. It’s a big relief to get the win.”
Seniors Tommy Molina, Shane Pursell, Cole Brincefield, Castro, Cameron Hernandes, Caleb Galindo, Aaron Benividez and Christian Aguilar had important roles in getting the win. They combined for 11 of the team’s runs while Castro tossed a complete game six-hitter.
“It felt good. It was a good team win,” Pursell said. “We dominated a team we were supposed to dominate.”
“It’s a great victory,” Castro said. “We came out here and the seniors were ready to go and I was ready to go on the mound and show.”
Brincefield had two hits with a double while scoring three runs. Pursell had a double, scored two runs and drove in three runs. Molina was 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI while reaching base all four plate appearances.
Kristian Gomez drove in four runs with a single and a double while scoring two runs. Jonathan Ramirez was 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a run scored.
The Coyotes battled at Edison on Thursday to close the regular season and see what their fate will be when the Div. II Central Section playoff seedings are announced today.
“Thursday is a big game for us,” Underwood said. “If we win that one, it’s definitely a step in the right direction going into the playoffs. The guys will have a little more confidence. We’re going to be a five, six or seven. We have the second toughest strength of schedule and maybe that plays into it. You never know what could happen.”
Brincefield started the scoring rally in the first and second innings. He doubled to start the first inning. Pursell drew a walk and Molina was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Gomez singled home Brinefield and Pursell. Castro reached on an error to drive in Molina. Ramirez singled to re-load the bases. Aaron Benividez grounded out to drive in Gomez for an early 4-0 lead.
Brincefield led off the second with a single. Pursell was hit by a pitch and Molina doubled home Brincefield. Gomez singled to drive in Pursell and Molina, but the rally kept going.
Castro singled to put runners at first and third. Ramirez doubled home Gomez and Castro from first for a 9-0 lead.
Hernandes was hit by a pitch and Benividez grounded out, but Ramirez scored. Aguilar forced out Benividez and Brincefield walked to load the bases.
Pursell followed with a double to clear the bases while Hernandes, Aguilar and Brincefield scored for a 13-0 lead.
“It was good relief for Nikayha on the mound,” Pursell said. “We did our best for him.”
Edison scored two runs in the fourth on two singles and a double. The Tigers added another run in the fifth off an error. Castro got out of the inning with a double play ball.
Madera added to the lead in the fifth. Molina reached on an infield single and went to second when Gomez’s fly ball to center was dropped. Molina went to third when Castro hit into a double play. Ramirez followed with a single to left to drive in Molina for a 14-3 lead.
In the seventh, Castro got a strikeout, but allowed a single. He got a forceout at second and a soft line drive to Brincefield to end the game with the win.