Coyotes fall in first state playoff game
Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Evan Candelaria scores on a wild pitch to give the Coyotes a 3-2 lead in the third inning of Tuesday’s 10-3 SoCal Regional playoff loss at Mel Parker Field.
The Madera Coyotes baseball team was still riding the high of winning the team’s first Central Section championship in eight years and couldn’t battle through it in a 10-3 loss to Camarillo in the first game of the SoCal Regional State championships in Mel Parker Field.
The third-seeded Coyotes took an early 3-2 lead in the first state playoff game in the first year of the CIF state baseball playoffs. However, Camarillo took advantage of costly Madera mental and physical errors for a 10-3 victory.
“They played better than us today,” head coach Andy Underwood said. “Our dugout was flat. Possibly, we played a little satisfied with what happened last Friday. The thing that sucks about this is I don’t want to take away from last week was playing this game and ending the season on a loss after an incredible high we had. I told the guys don’t hang your heads leaving this place. Baseball is a tough game as it is. They all left as champions this year. The community is proud of them.”
Nate Martinez suffered the loss on the mound. He allowed six runs in four innings, but two were unearned. He struck out five and walked two. Frankie Espejo sruckout two in his two innings of work. Izaak Murillo allowed four runs in the seventh, but three of the runs were unearned.
Before a packed house, the Div. II Central Section champions produced seven hits, including three from Murillo and two from Nathan Palacioz.
“It’s been a while to see this place packed,” Underwood said. “Probably since 2014, 2015. It was nice to see after all the COVID stuff. The end of the season, games started to feel like baseball games again with people in the stands. It was a lot of fun.”
However, all the little things the Coyotes did right in the two-week playoff run, they didn’t do right in Tuesday’s playoff game. They committed four errors that led to five unearned runs. They struck out 10 times and were thrown out on the bases three times.
Camarillo got on the scoreboard in the second inning. The rally started with a one-out walk. After a forceout, Camarillo hit a single and a double for a 2-0 lead.
The Coyotes responded with three runs in the third, their only inning scoring.
Isaiah Monge led off with a walk. Palacioz singled to left and Evan Candelaria reached on a bunt single to load the bases.
Ivin Ponce grounded out, but Monge came in to score. Murillo reached on a fielders choice with a grounder to second. The Camarillo second baseman made a diving stop and made an off-balance throw to the plate to try to get Palacioz, but the throw went over the catcher’s head and Palacioz tied the game.
With Isaac Flores at the plate, Candelaria scored on a wild pitch for a 3-2 lead.
The Scorpions answered with three runs in the fourth, highlighted by a two-run double after a lead-off double for a 5-3 lead.
Camarillo added another run in the fifth and sealed the game with four runs in the seventh.
After the third, Madera had four hits, but left three runners in scoring position to end their season.