Stallion score early for quarters win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Jasir Alvarez watches his line drive fall in the first inning to drive in two runs during Thursday’s 11-1 victory over Mission Prep.
The Madera South Stallions baseball team sent 13 batters to the plate in the first inning and scored nine runs to enable them to cruise to an 11-1 victory over Mission Prep-San Luis Obispo in the quarterfinals of the Div. IV Central Section playoffs
“That was nice to score nine runs in the first and get rolling,” head coach Alan Sandoval said. “We were hitting the ball well. We had good approaches and didn’t try to do too much. Our only out through the first time through the line up was a shot Gilbert (Moisa) hit. Our first fly ball was the final out of the first inning.”
The fifth-seeded Stallions recorded their second straight double-digit victory in the playoffs Thursday at Eddie Chapa Field against 12th-seeded Mission Prep.
Now, the Stallions earn a semifinal game against top seed Liberty on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
“When the season first started, we envisioned this,” Sandoval said. “The season didn’t go our way. We battled through a lot of adversity. We are rolling at the right time, I think.”
The Stallions banged out 12 hits in the game. Every starter, but one got a hit and every starter scored a run. Anthony Gamiz continued his hot run with three hits, including a triple. He scored two runs and drove in three. Jair Alvarez made the most of his rare start with three hits, a run scored and an RBI.
Because of the big lead, Sandoval was able to limit ace Murf Gray with his pitches, making him available to pitch in Tuesday’s semifinal.
He tossed four innings and allowed an unearned run. He struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter. Brian Monges tossed two innings in his first appearance in about a month due to a hamstring injury. Johnathan Spraggins closed out the game with a perfect seventh inning.
“We were able to limit Murf with his pitches so he’s good to go on Tuesday,” Sandoval said. “It’s not just Murf, but the entire staff. “
Gray allowed a triple on the first pitch of the game to the Royals. However, he struck out the next three batters to keep the runner at third.
In the bottom of the first inning, Gilbert Moisa led off with a line drive that was caught by the second baseman.
Then, the barrage came. The next nine batters reached base, including Moisa.
Gray followed Moisa with a single up the middle. Xavier Cantu drew a walk and Monges drew a full count walk to load the bases.
Gamiz singled to right field to drive in Gray and Cantu while Monges took third. After Gamiz stole second, Elijah Tang drew a walk to load the bases.
Jasir Alvarez singled to left to drive in Monges and Gamiz. Jair Alvarez drove in Tang while his brother took second.
No. 9 batter Jorge Gutierrez reached on an infield single to load the bases for the third time in the inning.
Moisa singled to right field to drive in the Alvarez twins with Gutierrez taking third. Moisa stole second and Gray grounded out to drive in Gutierrez.
Cantu followed with another single to drive in Moisa for the ninth run of the inning. Monges singled up the middle, but Gamiz ended the inning with a fly out for the only time he was retired in the game.
Mission Prep scored its lone run in the second inning. With one out, the Royals singled. An error on a ball up the middle put runners at first and second. A passed ball allowed Mission Prep’s lone run to score.
Mission Prep put two runners on when a dropped third strike kept the inning going. However, Gray struck out the next batter to end the inning. He allowed a runner in the third and fourth inning, but the runners didn’t advance.
The Stallions added to their lead in the fourth when Gamiz tripled over the centerfielder’s head. He scored on Jasir Alvarez’s sacrifice fly. Jair Alvarez started another rally with a ground rule double to deep left-center, but a groundout ended the inning.
In the fifth, Gray was hit by a pitch with one out. Cantu walked, again. After a popout, Gamiz singled to left field to drive in Gray for the 11-1 lead.
Spraggins closed out the game with a two flyouts and a groundout to send the Stallions to the semifinals.