Stallions win neighborhood battle
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s J.J. Villanueva lifts a fly ball that fell in the Matilda Torres infield to drive in two first inning runs during Thursday’s 11-1 victory over the Matilda Torres Toros.
Madera South Stallions baseball coach Alan Sandoval used his game against the Matilda Torres Toros as a way to have some fun and give some of his hardly-used players some game time.
“It was nice to see some smiles,” he said. “Baseball is supposed to be fun. It’s not fun when we’re losing. I was really happy for the seniors. It was a good day for Stallions’ baseball.”
The Stallions came away with an 11-1 victory Thursday evening to get some positive energy heading into the final week of the regular season with games against Madera on Tuesday and Thursday.
“It was a fun game for the seniors, but we still had to win it. Now, we have to turn the page and focus on next week,” Sandoval said.
Madera South set the tone early with six runs in the first inning and never looked back. Bryan Malagon silenced the Toros with four hits over five innings. He struck out three and didn’t walk a batter.
Aide Sua allowed an unearned run and Kaelei Kajitani closed out the game in the seventh.
Anthony Gamiz was the only Stallion with more than one hit. He had three hits with two runs scored and two RBIs. Six other Stallions had a hit, including Aldo Cardenas with his first of the season.
However, the Toros, playing their first game in a about a month, showed some rust in the first couple of innings.
Starter Will Valmonte allowed six runs in the first inning. He lasted just 2/3 of the inning with four walks and four hits.
“It was tough having those long weeks of practice without a game and try to simulate game-like situations,” head coach Bryan Rubalcaba said. “I’m glad Alan reached out to get another contact. It’s a lot of fun. I know we’re going to see them a lot for years to come.”
Aiden Medina settled in by allowing four runs, two earned, in two innings. Amani Sua closed the game with 3 1/3 innings of one-run ball. He struck out four and allowed just one hit.
“Will had a cut on his finger so he was trying to pitch around that,” Rubalcaba said. “Aiden hadn’t pitched all year. He came in and was doing his job throwing strikes and pitching to contact. Amani did the same thing. I’m proud of them and they came in and did their job.”
The Toros scored an unearned run in the top of the sixth inning. Ryan Lutz and Ruben Garcia led the Toros with two hits each.
Madera South put the game away in the bottom of the first inning with six runs. Gamiz drew a lead-off walk on four pitches. After Gamiz stole second, Aiden Sua singled to put runners at the corners.
Sua stole second and Murf Gray singled home Gamiz and Sua for an early 2-0 lead.
Gray stole second and Valmonte retired the next two batters. A passed ball moved Gray to third. Johnathan Spraggins drew a walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
J.J. Villanueva popped a ball in the infield that fell, which allowed Gray and Spraggins to score for a 4-0 lead.
Malagon and Cosio drew walks to load the bases. Gamiz singled up the middle to drive in two more runs for a 6-0 lead.
Madera South added to the lead in the second, Gray was hit by a pitch and went to third on a Jasir Alvarez single. Jair Alvarez singled to left to drive in Gray. After Alvarez was forced out, Villanueva forced Spraggins at second, but Jasir Alvarez came in to score for an 8-0 lead.
With one out in the third, the Stallions added two more runs. Gamiz started the rally with a single. Sua reached on an error to put two runners on. Cardenas singled to left to drive home Gamiz.
Jair Alvarez drew a walk to load the bases. Alberto Alonso drew a full-count walk to force home Sua for a 10-0 lead.
Amani Sua kept the Stallions off the scoreboard until the sixth inning.
Although Torres had a runner in every inning, but one, the Stallions’ pitching staff kept the Toros off the scoreboard.
Lutz doubled to open the game, but didn’t advance. Lutz singled in the third, and advanced to third with two outs, but was left stranded.
The Toros finally got on the scoreboard in the sixth. Amani Sua singled off his brother, Aiden, to left field.
After a strikeout, Aiden Medina hit a grounder to second that was misplayed. The Stallions’ second baseman got a pice of the ball and it went past the right fielder, which allowed Amani Sua to score the Toros’ lone run. Aiden Sua got a flyout to shallow right to end the inning.
Madera South answered the run in the bottom of the sixth. Malagon and Joseph Cosio drew walks to open the inning. Gamiz singled to right to load the bases. Aiden Sua grounded out to drive in Malagon for an 11-1 lead.
Kajitani allowed a two out walk in the seventh, but got a strikeout to end the game.