Stallions stunned as the top seed
Wendy Alexander/The madera Tribune
Madera South’s Brian Monges slides into the plate to score a second inning run during Wednesday’s playoff loss to the Golden West Trailblazers.
The Madera South Stallions baseball team earned the program’s first top seed in the Div. IV playoffs, but an old nemesis appeared and the Golden West-Visalia Trailblazers recorded a 4-3 upset victory at Eddie Chapa Field.
The Stallions looked to be cruising with three runs in the first two innings. However, the Trailblazers scored four runs in the third inning and made it stand up the rest of the way to record an improbable victory.
Madera South had its opportunities. They left 10 runners on base and went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position. In three of its last four games, Madera South left nine or more runners on base.
Brian Monges led the Stallions with three hits and scored two runs. He hit a first inning triple and drove in a run. Freshman Gilbert Moisa and Anthony Gamiz each had two hits.
Jasir Alvarez suffered the loss. He tossed the first 2 1/3 innings. He allowed four runs on five hits. However, the combination of Joseph Cosio and Murf Gray didn’t allow a hit over the final 4 2/3 innings. Gray struck out five in his 2 2/3 innings.
Monges led off the bottom of the first inning with a liner down the right field line to the corner. He sped around the bases and made a head-first dive into third for a triple.
After Gray was intentionally walked, Tang hit a grounder to first. The Golden West first baseman tried to get Monges at the plate, but Monges beat out the high throw for the first run of the game.
A fly ball to right advanced Gray to third and Tang stole second with one out. After a groundout for the second out, A.J. Rocha hit a liner to left field that was snagged by the shortstop to end the inning.
Madera South added two more runs in the second. Moisa led off with a single to right-center. Joeziah Meza sacrificed him to second. After a strikeout, Monges singled to right to drive in Moisa.
Monges advanced to second on a wild pitch. After another intentional walk to Gray, Tang singled up the middle to drive in Monges for a 3-0 lead and load the bases. However, a groundout ended the threat.
Madera South had another threat in the third inning. With one out, Moisa, Meza and Gamiz singled in a row to load the bases. However, a forceout and a strikeout ended the threat.
Golden West scored all the runs they would need in the third inning. The lead-off batter, the line-up’s No. 9 hitter, singled up the middle. A walk put runners at first and second.
Alvarez got a flyout to center for the first out. Golden West singled to left to drive in a run, but Alvarez hit the next batter to re-load the bases.
Three pitches later, Alex Lopez lined a triple to the centerfield fence to drive in three runs and give the Trailblazers a 4-3 lead.
Cosio came in to get a grounder to end the inning, but the damage had been done.
Gray and Cosio allowed just two baserunners over the final four innings to keep the Stallions within a run.
After going down in order in the fourth and fifth, the Stallions put up their last charge in the sixth.
Gamiz led off the inning with a single to right. Monges followed with another single. After a popup, Tang drew a walk to load the bases.
Xavier Cantu lifted a fly ball to short right for the second out. Gamiz tried to score from third, but was tagged out on a one-out strike from the right fielder to end Madera South’s last chance to avoid the upset.