Coyotes blank Stallions to win series
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Ivan Ponce gave his pitcher Nathan Palacioz all he needed with an RBI single during Thursday’s 7-0 victory over Madera South.
After splitting the first two games of a three-game series against the Madera South Stallions baseball team, the Madera Coyotes earned the series win with a dominant 7-0 shutout victory to finish off the series at Eddie Chapa Field.
Led by starter Nathan Palacioz, the Coyotes stymied Madera South in the batter’s box and chased its pitchers out of the game with seven runs on 10 hits. Eight Coyotes registered a hit Thursday, five different Coyotes registered a walk and four Coyotes drove in a run.
It was the type of all-around performance the Coyotes were looking for not just because they matched up with a top Stallions team, but because with playoffs around the corner, Madera was looking to get some momentum.
The Coyotes were given the No.6 seed in Division II while the Stallions were given the top seed in Division IV.
For Madera South, zero runs, five hits and four errors was not the line head coach Alan Sandoval and his boys were looking for, but beating Madera and head coach Andy Underwood after the Coyotes picked up some momentum was always going to be a tall task.
Elijah Tang finished the game with two hits for the Stallions while Murf Gray, Joziah Meza and Xavier Cantu each recorded a hit.
But, Thursday was all about the Coyotes.
Despite a few quiet innings to open the game, Madera awakened in the fourth inning that culminated in four straight innings with at least a run and and three innings with two runs — fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
David Monge singled in the first inning but the Coyotes couldn’t string together hits to open the game.
Madera South followed in its opening frame and nearly took an early lead after Gray and Tang singled consecutively. Gray advanced to third, but stayed put as Palacioz battled his way out of trouble, a skill he’s developed over the long County/Metro Athletic Conference season.
Madera followed suit in the top of the second as Ivan Ponce singled on a pop fly to Tang before Logan Wattenbarger walked on five pitches. Ponce advanced to second on a wild pitch midway through the at bat.
Back-to-back outs stymied any chance the Coyotes had at taking the early lead.
Fast forward to the top of the fourth and the Coyotes finally found what they were looking for — a hit with runners in scoring position.
With two outs, Wattenbarger singled to left field. Wattenbarger later stole second base before Isaac Flores walked to give Madera two men on. Zach Robins doubled to left field, bringing home both Flores and Wattenbarger.
Leading 2-0, Madera continued to pour it on in the top of the fifth. Izaak Murillo reached on a hard-hit ball that resulted in an error and Monge singled to left field. Evan Candelaria later reached on an error, allowing Murillo to score 3-0.
Ponce followed suit with a single to left field to push the lead 4-0.
In the top of the sixth inning, a Monge hit by pitch set the Coyotes up for more success. Palacioz followed with a six-pitch walk and Candelaria walked home a run as his walk forced home the Coyotes’ fifth run.
Ponce followed with a ground ball and throwing error by Madera South.
Up 6-0, the Coyotes added their seventh run in the seventh inning to close out the final game of the 2021 regular season.