Walks help Sanger sweep Stallions
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aiden Sua keeps his eye on the ball to make the out at first base during Friday’s loss to the Sanger Apaches. Sua drove in two of Madera South’s four runs.
After suffering a 10-inning defeat the last time the Madera South Stallions baseball team faced the Sanger Apaches, the Stallions were determined to avoid a sweep in the final game of the three-game series.
The Apaches took a 4-1 lead Friday, but the Stallions battled back to tie the score. However, Sanger took advantage of Madera South wildness to score three runs in the top of the seventh for a 7-4 victory at Eddie Chapa Field.
“We have to work through the funk,” head coach Alan Sandoval said. “It hurt not having Brian Monges (hamstring injury) out there. That’s a big loss. Right now, we’re ice cold with the bats. We had one good inning, but that’s been our best inning the past two weeks.”
The Stallions held the Apaches to six hits, but only had six hits themselves. They also left 10 runners on base.
“We’re not driving runners in,” Sandoval said. “We’re getting them on base. We need guys to step up. We have some that are pretty consistent, but we have other guys you don’t know what you’re going to get.”
Bryan Malagon tossed the first 4 2/3 innings and held the Apaches to a run over the first four innings before getting banged around in the fifth. He walked six batters and struck out four. Jair Alvarez got the Stallions out of a three-run fifth, but walked four in 2 1/3 innings and allowed three runs. He also struck out two.
“Walks will always come back and haunt you,” Sandoval said. “It’s the worst thing you can do as a pitcher.”
Of Sanger’s seven runs, five reached base on walks and two were intentionally walked.
Xavier Cantu remained hot with two hits with a double, and two walks to lead the Stallions’ offense. We also had two hits in Tuesday’s game against Sanger.
Gilbert Moisa, Elijah Tang, Jasir Alvarez and Aiden Sua had hits for the Stallions. Cantu and Sua each drove in two runs.
The Apaches got on the scoreboard in the second inning. A walk, bunt hit and an error loaded the bases. Malagon got a strikeout and a grounder to short. The Stallions got the forceout at second, but the throw to first was late and the Apaches scored for a 1-0 lead.
Madera South came back to tie the score in the bottom of the fourth. Cantu drew a walk and advanced to second on an Elijah Tang sacrifice.
Jair Alvarez singled up the middle to advance Cantu to third. Sua grounded out, but Cantu came in to score the tying run.
The Apaches sent nine batters to the plate in a nine-run fifth inning. With one out, Malagon walked the No. 9 batter and allowed a double. An intentional walk loaded the bases.
Sanger singled up the middle to drive in another run. A grounder to short forced a runner at second, but another run scored. Another walk loaded the bases and Malagon walked his sixth batter to force in another run.
Alvarez came in relief and got a groundout to end the inning.
The Coyotes battled back in the bottom of the fifth. Moisa led off with a single to left. After a wild pitch, Murf Gray was walked.
Cantu hit the next pitch over the centerfielder’s head for a double while Moisa and Gray scored. Tang singled to left to put runners at first and third.
After Tang stole second, Sua hit a slow roller to third that went under the third baseman’s glove for an infield single while Cantu scored the game-tying run.
Madera South struck out with runners at first and third to end the inning.
Sanger took control of the game in the top of the seventh. A single and sacrifice put the go-ahead run at second.
A walk and an intentional walk loaded the bases. Another walk forced the go-ahead run in. Sanger hit the next pitch up the middle to drive in two more runs for a 7-4 lead. Sanger tried to add to its lead, but Jorge Gutierrez caught a line drive at his shoe tops and threw to Moisa at second to double up the runner to end the inning.
Madera put the tying runs on base in the seventh inning. With one out, Cantu drew a four-pitch walk. After a strikeout, J.J. Villanueva was hit by an 0-2 pitch. Sua worked a full-count walk to load the bases.
However, the next batter struck out to end the game.