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Baseball: Bulldogs knock off Tigers 8-2

March 28, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

CALEXICO — Demonstrating why it is atop the Imperial Valley League standings, the Calexico High baseball team played a solid all-around game in an 8-2 IVL win over Imperial High at Elmer Belcher Field here Tuesday.

Taking advantage of three Imperial errors in the second inning, Calexico scored four runs to take a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

"Those errors in that inning is something that really hurt us. Poor defense is what's been killing us all year," said Tiger coach William Estes. "I think I've just come to the conclusion that we're just not a good defensive team. That's one of the main things we work on in practice, but for some reason we just can't get it together."

Still, what hurt Estes' club was lack of offense. Imperial only finished with four hits, three in the first inning.

"If we're going to struggle on defense we have to make up for it on offense. And we didn't do that today," said Estes. "But give credit to Calexico. (Juan) Lopez and Diego (Lopez) called a great game. They saw we weren't hitting it to right, so they started calling outside pitches. And that really threw us off."

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In the first inning, Calexico pitcher Juan Lopez was delivering the heat down the middle and Imperial feasted on it, reaching base three times. A base hit by Chris Mazeroll scored Brett Cochran. D.J. Hastings followed with a hit that scored Mazeroll.

After that, the Tigers only reached base four more times, with only one hit.

A big reason was Lopez, who threw a complete game, striking out eight.

"In that first inning my arm felt a little tight," said Lopez. "But then I started throwing more and it got loose in the second. Once our offense started getting hits and scoring runs I felt more comfortable. And having the defense behind me make plays made things a lot easier."

Said Calexico coach Sergio Rubio of Lopez: "Juan did a real good job of mixing up the pitches. After that first inning he could've buckled, but got everything together and came back and pitched a really good game."

The Bulldog bats produced runs in all but two frames, with the biggest output in the second.

In the second, Damian Lopez, Matt Sauceda, Hector Rivera and Diego Lopez all scored, with Chris Wong driving in two.

Calexico tacked on two more in the fourth as a double by Diego Lopez scored Rivera. Lopez, who finished 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs, was brought in by Wong, who went 3-for-4 with four RBIs.

Wong accounted for the Bulldogs' run in the sixth as he drove in Rivera, who was 3-for-3, falling a home run short of the cycle.

Added Rubio: "Overall I think we played a good, balanced game. We got good pitching, timely hitting and took advantage of their errors. We do still need to be a little more aggressive at the plate, but the bottom line is everyone played well and did a good job."

Imperial (5-3 overall, 1-2 IVL) hosts Upper Lake of San Francisco at 6 p.m. Thursday. Calexico (9-4, 3-0 IVL) will play at 3:15 p.m. Friday at Holtville.

Southwest 6, Holtville 1

HOLTVILLE — The Southwest High School baseball team kept pace with Calexico for first place in IVL with a 6-1 win over Holtville High here Tuesday.

Picking up the win was Mario Gastelum, who pitched a complete game, giving up only two hits, striking out seven and not allowing any earned runs.

Eric Flores led the Eagles going 2-for-3 with a triple, three runs and two RBIs. David Herrera and David Cordova both went 2-for-4 with an RBI.

Edward Castro took the loss for Holtville (4-4, 0-3 IVL), giving up five earned runs, striking out two in seven innings.

Frank Lopez collected one of the Vikings hits with a double and scored Holtville's only run.

Southwest will host Upper Lake of San Francisco at 3:15 p.m. Friday.

Central 10, Palo Verde 4

Behind a 12-strikeout effort from Humberto Cardenas, the Central Union High baseball team defeated Palo Verde 10-4 in IVL play in El Centro on Tuesday.

Cardenas went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs and an RBI. Danny Vasquez went 2-for-4 with two runs and Matt Baker chipped in a 1-for-3 effort with two RBI.

Central (5-3, 2-0) will host Imperial at 3:15 p.m. Friday.

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