No breaks for struggling Stallions
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South first baseman Aiden Sua collides with a San Joaquin Memorial hitter on his way to first base. Sua held onto the ball for the out and the runner was thrown out of the game.
Next to the Tri-River Athletic Conference, the County/Metro Athletic Conference may be one of the toughest baseball leagues in the Central Section.
Unfortunately, it’s an even tougher league when a team is struggling to find some consistency like the Madera South Stallions.
San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno’s Charlie Monterrosa drove in three runs in Tuesday’s 6-3 victory over the Stallions on Tuesday in Eddie Chapa Field.
“Every single game in the CMAC is a battle,” head coach Alan Sancoval said. “Every team in the CMAC capitalizes on mistakes. We’re scuffling right now, but I felt like we played really well. We played the No. 5 team in the valley.”
Madera South outhit the Panthers, 6-5. Gilbert Moisa, Jair Alvarez, Xavier Cantu, Jorge Gutierrez and Anthony Gamiz hit singles. Jasir Alvarez launched a double for the Stallions’ hits.
“I was encouraged with the way we played today,” Sandoval said. “If we play this waay moving forward, especially with playoffs, we’ll be all right. It’s about playing consistent and playing to our potential every time.”
Gutierrez was solid on the mound for the Stallions. He allowed four runs, but just two were earned over six innings. Madera South’s two errors led to four unearned runs.
Both Gutierrez and San Joaquin Memorial pitcher Michael Monreal put up zeroes for the first two innings.
The Panthers got a hit batter, back-to-back doubles (with Monterrosa driving in two), a wild pitch and a groundout to take a 3-0 lead.
Madera South got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Alvarez led off the inning with a double to the centerfield fence.
Gamiz was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second. Monreal got two straight popouts before intentionally walking Murf Gray.
Cantu drew a full count walk to force in Alvarez for the run.
Monterrosa answered by hitting a 3-0 pitch to lead off the sixth inning over the left field fence for a 4-1 lead.
A lead-off double, throwing error and a groundout drove in seventh inning runs for the Panthers for a 6-1 lead.
Madera South didn’t go down without a fight. No. 9 batter Gamiz led off with a walk. Moisa singled to left. Pinch-hitter Jair Alvarez blooped a single down the right field line to drive in Gamiz and advance Moisa to third.
The next batter grounded into a double play for the first two outs of the seventh.
Cantu lined a single to right to drive in Moisa, but the next batter grounded out to end the game.