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Brawley suffers first IVL setback

April 17, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — Like the much-repeated cliché, Imperial High's baseball team proved Tuesday that on any given day anyone can win as the Tigers knocked off Brawley Union High 6-5.

Entering the game, Brawley was tied for first in the Imperial Valley League with a 3-0 mark, while Imperial was stuck in last place at 0-4.

While the win for Imperial was big, winning in the dramatic fashion it did it in made the victory even bigger.

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After giving up three runs in the top of the seventh and looking at 5-4 deficit, the Tigers clawed back in the bottom of the frame, scoring twice, capped by Dillon Foster's game-winning single with bases loaded that scored Chance Downs.

"These kids showed heart. They never gave up at all. We were down two times and both times they came back on what I think is the best team in the Valley," said Imperial coach William Estes. "After that (7-0) loss to Central (on Friday), our kids were working really hard during practice on their hitting.

"You could see that they wanted to improve their hitting, so that's what they worked on and it paid off," said Estes. "I hate to say it, but I think that loss to Central may have been what we needed."

With the score tied 2-2 after three innings, Imperial scored runs in the fourth and fifth innings to take a 4-2 advantage.

The Tigers' Eddie Martinez scored on an error to give Imperial a 3-2 lead in the fourth.

In the fifth Aaron Hartsock walked and scored on a Brenden Lopez single to give the Tigers a two-run advantage.

Brawley, though, went ahead in the seventh.

Mitchel Ruiz led off the inning with a base hit and Joel Aguirre reached base on an error. One out later Brandon Burnett was intentionally walked to bring up Matt Smith.

With the bases loaded, Smith came through with a two-run double to tie the game 4-4.

Burnett was then taken out for pinch runner Jose Escutia. David Santana was intentionally walked.

After a second out, Dominic Aguirre walked on six pitches, allowing Escutia to score the go-ahead run.

That left it for Imperial to win the game in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, Bryan Seeger and Julian Lopez both walked. Lopez was replaced by pinch runner Chance Downs.

After a second out Eddie Ramirez hit the ball up the middle to score Seeger and tie the game 5-5.

Brenden Lopez then walked to load the bases for Foster.

"When I went up to the plate, I was just hoping that I didn't choke. And I just wanted to do it for the team," said Foster, who on April 4 struck out with the bases loaded against Francis Parker.

With a 1-1 count, Foster came through with his biggest hit of the season, a shot down the right field line.

"We were all just up for this game. I thought it was nice for us to get our first league win against Brawley, because they're one of the best teams in the league," said Foster. "When we play teams that are better than us, we just come out big. We really had nothing to lose and we were able to get this."

In the first inning, Ruiz and Aguirre scored Brawley's first two runs off Imperial pitcher Eddie Ramirez .

Scoring for Imperial in the third were Kevin Williams and Cabrera.

Imperial's Brenden Lopez finished with two hits and two RBI.

Said Brawley coach Pedro Carranza: "We played down to our competition. We always seem to do that and today we played down to Imperial. We just have to put this behind us. We have a game Friday and we still have the rest of the season."

Both teams play at 4:15 p.m. Friday with Brawley playing at Central Union High in El Centro and Imperial playing at Palo Verde in Blythe.

Central 11, Holtville 3

HOLTVILLE — The Central Union High baseball team remained atop the Imperial Valley League with an 11-3 victory over Holtville here Tuesday.

Leading the Central offense were Victor Cesena and Enrique Lechuga, both finishing with three hits. Lechuga had two triples. Mario Gastelum was 2-for-3 for Central (4-0 IVL).

Leo Ibarra picked up the win on the mound for Central, going four innings.

Isac Mejia took the loss for Holtville (2-3). Mejia and his brother Adan Mejia both finished with two hits.

The Vikings play at Palo Verde at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Palo Verde 9, Southwest 0

Three errors led to six unearned runs Tuesday as Southwest High's baseball team fell to visiting Palo Verde 9-0.

The Eagles collected just three hits — singles by Alex Caldera, Brandon Armendariz and Ernie Silva.

Southwest (10-9 overall, 2-2 IVL) plays at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Calexico.

Lutheran 5, Vincent Memorial 3

CALEXICO — Errors hurt Vincent Memorial High's baseball team as it fell to Lutheran High of San Diego 5-3 on Tuesday.

"It's the same old story," Vincent coach Chava Macias said, noting miscues again hurt the Scots.

An error allowed Lutheran to tie the game at 3-3. Another error allowed the go-ahead runs to score in the last inning.

Scot pitcher Federico Gomez tried to get the third and final out in the seventh off a come-backer to the mound but his throw to third base sailed high, allowing the two runs to score.

Mike Gamboa, Julian Escalera, Matt Lankford and Tony Ojeda all had solid hits for Vincent.

Vincent (5-5 overall, 3-4 Citrus League) faces Calvary Christian at 3:30 p.m. Friday in Vista.

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