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Central Holds Off Southwest

April 24, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

Central Union High's baseball team made an early lead stand up as the Spartans held off cross town rival Southwest 6-3 Tuesday.

"I feel like (presidential candidate Al) Gore," said Southwest coach Mickey Carter. "We out-played them for five innings but still lost."

Central, the host team, jumped to a 5-1 lead after one inning and led 6-2 after two.

"You have to give them credit," Carter said. "They played good defense and the pitchers got the outs when they needed them.

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"Good pitching and good defense will win it almost every time," Carter added.

"It's like that old saying," Central skipper Dave Middleton said, "we won ugly."

"We made a lot of silly, stupid mistakes and it cost us some more runs. It made the game close," he said.

While the Spartans did make a few mental errors they were flawless in the field. It was a welcome relief after the seven errors in a 9-3 loss last Friday to Brawley.

"We needed this one," Central's Mario Gastelum said. "We needed to come back strong."

Gastelum did his part, going 3-for-4 with a double and four runs batted in.

"I guess I was lucky," he said modestly.

Gastelum had the big hit in the first inning, a three-run two-bagger.

Southwest opened the game with a run in the top of the first. Ernie Silva got aboard on an infield single and two outs later scored on Ricky Lopez's base hit to left.

Central answered with the five runs in the last half of the second. Javier Vasquez was hit by the first pitch he saw. Walks to Enrique Lechuga and Raul Cazares then loaded the bases.

Gastelum followed with his slicing double down the right field line. After Victor Cesena walked, Gastelum came home on an error that put Dan Vela aboard..

Cesena scored moments later on a throw to second base when the Southwest catcher tried to throw out Vela, who was stealing. The ball hit Vela's foot and bounced into center field.

"Their first five guys got aboard before we got an out," Carter lamented. "That really hurt."

The Spartans added their last run in the second when Lechuga singled up the middle and scored on Gastelum's single to center.

Southwest scored its last two runs in the third. Alex Caldera singled up the middle and Chuck Ainza walked. Bryan Martinez stroked a two-out single down the left field line that scored Caldera. Ainza scored moments later on a passed ball.

Central still threatened after the second inning, putting runners aboard in every inning.

"We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot," Middleton said.

Twice Southwest pitchers picked a Spartan off first base and once the Eagle catcher picked a runner off third.

In addition, a Spartan base runner overran second base. He initially was safe but was tagged out when he strayed off the bag.

Southwest put runners aboard in every inning but the Eagles also were denied.

Both teams finished with 10 hits. In addition to Gastelum's three, Vasquez, Lechuga, Cesena, Vela, Ernie Castellanos, Kevin Betz and Mario Meza all singled for Central.

Tyler Martin doubled and singled for Southwest, Silva had two hits, Martinez doubled and Caldera, Ainza, Lopez, Joey Clayton and Brent Peterson all singled.

Central (13-3 overall, 5-1 Imperial Valley League) plays at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Calexico. Southwest (9-11, 2-4 IVL) hosts Brawley at 4:15 p.m. Friday.

Vincent Memorial 7,

Borrego Springs 6

CALEXICO — Jose Cano singled home Tony Ojeda in the bottom of the seventh inning Tuesday to give Vincent Memorial High's baseball team a 7-6 win over visiting Borrego Springs.

The Scots jumped to a 4-0 lead after two innings but errors allowed Borrego Springs to take the lead 6-5.

Michael Gamboa tied the game at 6-6 with a base hit before Cano won it by knocking in Ojeda.

Federico Gomez got the win on the mound for the Scots (6-6 overall, 4-5 Citrus League).

Julian Escalera, Nick Santos, Ojeda and Adrian Rios all had key hits for Vincent.

Vincent hosts Julian at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

Calexico 5, Brawley 4

BRAWLEY — Ezequiel Gutierrez homered in the top of the 10th inning Tuesday to give Calexico High's baseball team a 5-4 win over host Brawley Union High.

Albert Garcia had a bases-loaded triple for Calexico and Eric Flores added two hits.

J.P. Gonzalez went the distance for the Bulldogs, scattering seven hits and walking three. He struck out seven.

Calexico (10-6 overall, 3-3 Imperial Valley League) hosts Central at 4:15 p.m. Friday. Brawley (8-8, 4-2 IVL) plays at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Southwest.

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