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Baseball: Inconsistent Wildcats fall 8-4

March 14, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

BRAWLEY — The Brawley Union High School baseball team has yet to find its stride this season, playing inconsistent baseball and relying on late-inning heroics.

That was the case again for Brawley as it fell 8-4 to La Quinta High at Wiest Field here Tuesday.

"For some reason we just can't become a team. I can't do anything to get these guys to play together," said Wildcat coach Pedro Carranza. "There's just not much you can do when the team doesn't show up to play."

Brawley struggled until the last three innings as it was shut down by La Quinta starting pitcher Bobby Stucki, who only gave up two hits through the first four innings.

The Wildcats early standout was pitcher Brandon Burnett, who struck out seven through five innings.

"He was the only guy that really did anything for us," said Carranza. "It's just too bad we let a good pitching performance go to waste."

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Burnett finished with eight strikeouts, two walks, nine hits allowed and three earned runs over six innings.

La Quinta's win avenged a 4-3 loss to Brawley last week in the Desert Classic in Palm Desert. Blackhawk coach Robert Craven said that game was on the minds of his players.

"We thought we should have won that game last week," said Craven. "We were thinking about that coming into this game.

"We made some mental errors, which I wasn't happy with, but offensively we got it done. We were able to score when we needed to."

La Quinta got on the scoreboard in the second as Mike Craven reached home on a double by Sammy Chavez. A base hit by Joe Quintero off Burnett scored Chavez and gave the Blackhawks a 2-0 lead.

After going scoreless through four frames, the Wildcats tied things in the fifth on a La Quinta error. With runners on first and second, what looked to be a routine ground-out by Mitchell Ruiz turned into an overthrow, scoring Curtis Smith and Dominic Aguirre.

With a little momentum back on its side things quickly turned south for Brawley in the top of the seventh as La Quinta scored four runs off relievers Albert Padilla and Matt Smith.

The Wildcats put together a bit of a rally in the bottom of the seventh. With two outs, David Santana added to Brawley's score with an in-the-park home run. Two batters later a triple by Calvin Williams scored Javier Calles to cut the deficit to four. But La Quinta reliever Enrique Dumbrique regained control and closed the game.

The Wildcats (2-3) will play a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at Cathedral City.

Holtville 14, Lutheran 1

SAN DIEGO — The Holtville High School baseball team pounded Lutheran High of San Diego 14-1 here Tuesday.

Edward Castro picked up the win. He pitched five innings and struck out nine.

Castro also had a hit and four RBIs for Holtville. Adan Mejia had a hit, two walks and scored three runs for the Vikings. Alex Navarro banged two hits, four RBIs and scored three runs. Michael Gastelum had a hit, two RBIs and scored two runs for Holtville.

The Vikings (2-0) will be back in action at 3:15 p.m. Thursday at home against Antelope.

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