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Baseball: Wildcats pound Vikings

March 24, 2001|By TOM RONCO, (Special to this newspaper)

BRAWLEY — The first "official," or Imperial Valley League baseball game between the Holtville Vikings and the Brawley Union High Wildcats featured a wild nine-run first inning

Holtville scored the first two and Brawley answered with seven in a 12-2 six-inning Wildcat victory here Friday.

"We surprised ourselves with those runs in the first, then we backed off and lost our intensity," said Holtville coach Scott Andersen of his squad, which is new this year to IVL. "Everything we do this season is a learning experience because we are a young team and we are learning how to react."

After going down 2-0, Brawley scored the next 12 runs, showing an instinct it has not been noted for this season.

"This is the first time that this team went for the kill," said Brawley coach Pedro Carranza. "We were finally able to attack and put people away."


The contest started a half hour after the scheduled time after Holtville requested the change earlier in the day to accommodate its final exam schedule.

The Wildcats, as well as the umpires, were ready to go when the Vikes arrived and Holtville's pre-game warm-up consisted mainly of some stretching.

But the Vikes were ready to play offensively with leadoff hitter Adan Mejia flaring a single to center to open the game.

Isaac Mejia followed with a drive into the right field corner for a triple, scoring Adan Mejia. Alex Navarro followed with an RBI single for a 2-0 lead.

"I want to have guys on base when I hit so I can drive them in," said Navarro. "We started good but I don't think we played our best game because it was tough for us to get loose and get our rhythm."

After surrendering Holtville's third consecutive hit, Brawley pitcher Calvin Williams got Luis Avila to ground into a force out and then struck out Eduardo Castro.

Williams then walked Shea Anti on five pitches and fell behind Erik Burnworth 2 and 0, at which point Carranza went to the mound.

"I told Calvin to stay under control and find his tempo — which he did," said Carranza.

Williams found his tempo but not before walking Burnworth to load the bases. He quickly got ahead of Colt Sydner 0 and 2 before the freshman grounded into a force out to end the inning.

"I struggled early," understated Williams, who retired the next 12 batters in order, including striking out the side in the fourth inning. "Then I found my spots and my fielders made the plays."

Dominic Aguirre opened the home half of the first with a single off Avila, the Holtville starter. Aguirre moved to third on wild pitches while Avila was walking Brawley's David Santana on four straight pitches.

With Andy Buckner at the plate, Avila attempted to pick off Aguirre at third but an errant throw allowed Aguirre to score and cut the lead to 2-1.

Buckner then hit a long single to center, allowing Santana to tie the score at 2-2.

Avila got the next two batters to pop up and strike out.

Brawley's rally was reignited by an RBI double by Williams, followed by RBI singles by Mitchell Ruiz, Sergio Romo and Joel Aguirre to give the wildcats a 6-2 edge.

Andersen then brought in Eduardo Castro to pitch and after walking Dominic Aguirre, he surrendered an RBI single to Santana to push the Wildcat lead to 7-2.

Castro held Brawley scoreless until Ruiz hit a triple in the fourth that scored Brandon Burnett, who had walked Williams, who was aboard on an error.

"I'm seeing the ball well and have all year, probably better than I ever have," said Ruiz. "We needed to get a victory in league to get back in the race and this is going to get us started."

Brawley's final runs came in the sixth when Albert Padilla walked, Romo singled and Santana drove a triple to right center to end the game under the CIF's 10-run rule.

"It was a pretty good hit but as a team we are back winning," said Santana. "After we lost to Southwest we practiced harder and got more serious and it carried into the game."

The Wildcats (1-1 IVL) play Palm Desert in a non-league game here at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday while Holtville (3-3, 0-2 IVL) hosts Southwest High at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Calexico 4, Palo Verde 1

BLYTHE — The Calexico High School baseball team stopped Palo Verde 4-1 in IVL action here Friday.

J.P. Gonzalez picked up the win. He limited the Yellowjackets to five hits and struck out three in seven innings. Gonzalez led Calexico at the plate with two hits and an RBI.

The Bulldogs (8-4, 2-0 IVL) will be back in action at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at home against Imperial.

Central 8, Cibola 8

The Central Union High baseball team battled Cibola High of Yuma to an 8-8 tie here Friday.

The game was called in the eighth inning because of darkness.

Jose Ibarra and Danny Vazquez pitched for Central and allowed a total of 11 hits.

Humberto Cardenas led the Spartan offense. He had four hits, four RBIs and scored two runs.

Central will be back in action at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at home against Palo Verde.

Southwest 5, Imperial 0

IMPERIAL — The Southwest High baseball team earned its second IVL win of the year, knocking off Imperial 5-0 here Friday.

George Rapp picked up the complete-game win, allowing just four hits and striking out nine.

Brett Cochran took the loss.

Frank Richards had two hits and an RBI and Rick Lopez drove in two runs for Southwest.

Both teams return to action at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Imperial (1-1 IVL) will travel to Calexico while the Eagles (4-6, 2-0 IVL) will be at Holtville.

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