Madera earns first league win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Frankie Espejo throws a pitch during a complete game victory over Sanger on Tuesday. He struck out 12 and allowed just two hits in the win.
The Madera Coyotes baseball team has been struggling to find wins this season, but found success with a 3-1 win against Sanger in Mel Parker Field.
“We started 0-5 in league and now we’re 1-5. It feels good to get that first win,” Madera coach Andy Underwood said.
The Coyotes took an early 1-0 lead in Tuesday’s game after a solo home run from Eric Wilson. However, they lost the advantage in the third inning when Sanger’s Andrew Herrera drove in a run to tie the game.
“We had two outs out, nobody on, we walked the leadoff hitter. Then, they responded with a double and he scored. So that obviously was a mistake,” Underwood said. “Definitely sucks, but it’s something we can learn from.”
Madera, however, responded with two runs in the bottom of the third to take the lead for good. Adam Landero and Joel Arellano drove in the two runs that would give the home team a 3-1 advantage.
An impressive pitching performance from Francisco Espejo, coupled with the team’s strong defensive effort, anchored the Coyotes for the rest of the match.
“We played a very solid game defensively,” Underwood said. “The previous three or four games we have been really poor.”
Espejo tossed a complete game, allowing two hits and striking out 12 batters to make the task easier for his defense.
“Defense didn’t have to work as hard,” Underwood said. “They didn’t have a ton of base runners on.”
The coach also commended his offense.
“We played really well offensively,” he said. “A lot of good two-strike at bats and working counts and putting a little bit more pressure on them.”
Still, there is a lot of work to do for the Coyotes.
“We’re definitely in an uphill battle,” Underwood said. “I have challenged the team to go at least .500 or better for our last 14 games. We need to start pulling quality wins against quality opponents.”