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Eagles edge Holtville 2-1

April 10, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

A fluke play overshadowed a pair of solid pitching performances Tuesday in El Centro as Southwest High's baseball team edged visiting Holtville 2-1.

"Both pitchers kept the hitters off balance pretty much all day," Holtville skipper Scott Anderson said, referring to his own hurler, Edward Castro, and the Eagles' Al Caldera.

"Both threw quality pitches," Eagles coach Mickey Carter said. "Both pitchers made the plays when they needed to."

What will be remembered most, though, was how Southwest scored both its runs.

"Did you ever see such a goofy play as that one that scored the first run?" Carter asked. "I can just about guarantee you it won't happen again."

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After Holtville had taken a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth, the Eagles answered with two in the bottom half of the frame. With one out Bryan Martinez singled to right field and stole second base.

Brent Peterson followed, as did the weirdness. Peterson swung at a called third strike but the ball skipped to the backstop.

"It was weird," Carter said. "Everyone was yelling for (Peterson) to run" but he seemed frozen in place. Finally Peterson darted to first base.

Martinez, meanwhile, started down the line at third base. The Vikings' catcher looked Martinez back before throwing to first base. The ball sailed high into right field and Martinez scampered home on the error.

Peterson, meanwhile, slid into second base.

"They took advantage of errors and we didn't," Peterson said.

Moments later, Ernie Silva blooped a shallow base hit down the right field line that scored Peterson with the go-ahead run.

Holtville threatened in later innings but Southwest always came up with the right play at the right time.

"We came through as a team," said Caldera.

Caldera also came through in a big way. He scattered just three hits. One was a fluke triple that drove in Holtville's lone run.

With two outs Billy Huyler lined a ball to right field. The Eagle outfielder tried to make the play but the ball hit in front of him as he dove for it and it bounced past. Huyler scooted to third base while Isaac Mejia, who was aboard on an error, scored.

Caldera struck out seven, including five on called third strikes. He walked just two.

In addition, Caldera picked off a Holtville runner at first base to end a Viking threat.

"We made the plays defensively when we needed to," Caldera said of his teammates.

In both the sixth and seventh innings, Southwest second baseman Peterson raced back into shallow right field and with acrobatic catches grabbed soft flies that were almost out of his reach.

They easily could have dropped and the one in the sixth would have scored at least one run and maybe two except it was the third out.

"I thought Castro pitched a good game," Anderson said of his hurler. "He had good velocity on the ball."

Castro allowed five hits. He struck out six, walked five and hit a batter.

Ricky Lopez doubled for Southwest and Silva, Chuck Ainza, Caldera and Martinez all singled.

Huyler had his triple for Holtville and Colt Snyder and Eric Strahm both singled.

Southwest (9-8 overall, 2-1 Imperial Valley League) hosts Palo Verde at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. Holtville (8-7, 1-2) plays at 4:15 p.m. Thursday in Calexico.

Calexico 6, Imperial 0

IMPERIAL — J.P. Gonzalez pitched a two-hitter and struck out 14 to lead Calexico High's baseball team to a 6-0 win over host Imperial.

Max Leimgruber had two hits for the Bulldogs.

Calexico (8-9 overall, 1-2 Imperial Valley League) hosts Holtville at 4:15 p.m. Thursday. Imperial (8-7, 0-3) hosts Central Union High at 7 p.m. Friday.

Central 2, Palo Verde 1

BLYTHE — The Central Union High baseball team rallied in the last inning Tuesday to defeat host Palo Verde 2-1.

The Yellowjackets scored their run in the first inning on a home run. The Spartans scored their two in the top of the seventh.

Raul Cazares led off the seventh with a base hit and Mario Gastellum followed with a single. Danny Vela singled to drive in Cazares and Leo Ibarra doubled off the wall in center field to score Gastellum.

Ibarra pitched the first six innings and Dan Gonzales hurled the seventh, getting two strikeouts and a ground out to end the game.

Central (10-2 overall, 2-0 IVL) plays at 7 p.m. Friday at Imperial.

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