Coyotes grab baseball season opener
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera starter Nate Martinez throws a pitch during Tuesday’s game. he picked up the win and struck out nine.
Behind a dominating pitching performance from Nate Martinez and some timely hitting, the Madera Coyotes baseball team successfully opened the 2020 season with a 6-1 victory over the Tulare Union Tribe in Mel Parker Field.
Martinez struck out nine and allowed just three hits in six innings of work. The Coyotes put the game away Tuesday afternoon with three runs in the sixth inning.
Kristian Gomez led the Coyotes with a single and a double, scored two runs and drove in another. David Zavala tripled in a run in the sixth and the Coyotes cruised to the win.
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs, Gomez drew a walk. Nate Palacioz hit a lazy fly ball to centerfield. However, the ball glanced off the centerfielder’s glove for an error and Gomez raced around the bases to score the first run of the game.
After allowing a double and hitting a batter in the first, Martinez retired the next eight batters with four strikeouts.
Tulare tied the game in the top of the fourth inning. A pair of walks, a fielder’s choice and a bunt single scored the tying run.
Gomez started a fourth inning scoring rally by reaching on an error. Palacioz sacrificed Gomez to second and Caleb Cardoso singled to center to put runners at the corners.
Evan Candelaria laid down a bunt on the next pitch to drive in Gomez with the go-ahead run. The Coyotes kept the rally going when Zavala and Martinez drew walks to load the bases. However, a groundout ended the inning.
In the fifth, Jonathan Ramirez led off by reaching second on an error. Two batters later, Gomez doubled to deep center to drive in Ramirez for a 3-1 lead.
Madera extended its lead in the sixth inning. Candelaria led off with a single up the middle. Zavala followed with a triple down the left field line to drive in Candelaria. After a strikeout, Jordan De La Rosa singled home Zavala.
After De La Rosa stole second, Ramirez flied out, but Raymond Perez singled to right to drive in De La Rosa for a 6-1 lead.
Gomez reached on a single to put runners on the corners, but a forceout ended the inning.
Tulare Union put the pressure on Daniel Juarez, who came in to pitch the seventh inning. He walked the bases loaded, but struck out the final batter of the game to secure the win.