YOU ARE HERE: IVPress HomeCollections

Wildcats outlast Eagles 7-5

April 28, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

The sun had disappeared behind the mountains and homes late Friday afternoon when David Santana got the final out with a strikeout.

The final score showed Brawley Union High's baseball team had outlasted host Southwest High 7-5 in nine innings.

But what the scoreboard didn't show was the passion displayed on the field.

"There really wasn't a winner or a loser," Brawley skipper Pedro Carranza said. "Both teams played outstanding baseball.

"If there was a winner, though, it was the fans, who were treated to such a great game," Carranza added.

"It was a fun game," Southwest coach Mickey Carter said. "I had a blast.

"Our kids played so great," Carter added.

Brawley took a 1-0 lead in the first inning thanks to textbook baseball. Mitchell Ruiz got aboard on an infield single and moved to second on Joel Aguirre's sacrifice bunt. Ruiz scored on Brandon Burnett's single to left center.


Southwest also played textbook ball in the first but came away empty-handed. Alex Caldera led off with a single up the middle and Willie James sacrificed him to second with a perfect bunt. Ricky Lopez then singled to left but it wasn't deep enough to score Caldera, who stopped at third.

Chuck Ainza followed with an infield single to load the bases, but Brawley hurler Javier Calles got out of the inning with a strikeout and a fielder's choice.

"We got some quality pitching," Carranza said. "We made the plays when we needed to."

Southwest scored two runs in the third to take the lead. Caldera led off with a double to left and one out later scored on Lopez's single down the right field line.

Ainza moved Lopez to third with a single to right and Bryan Martinez followed with a double up the middle to score Lopez.

Brawley took the lead 3-2 in the top of the sixth. Santana led off with a triple to right center and scored on Burnett's base hit to right center. Jose Escutia's single down he left field line drove in the tie-breaking run.

Southwest answered with one run in the last half of the sixth to knot the score again. Martinez singled to left, stole second and came home on Sal Arballo's hit to right center.

Southwest nearly won the game in the bottom of the seventh inning but Brawley shortstop Matt Smith made a diving stop of a line drive behind the mound to help send the game into extra innings.

Both teams scored one run in the eighth. Santana led off the top of the inning with a single to right center and moved to second on a passed ball. He scored on Burnett's double down the left field line.

Martinez led off the eighth for Southwest with a single to right center. He then stole second.

Tyler Martin sacrificed Martinez to third by laying down a bunt on a 2-2 count.

Calles got the next batter to ground out for the second out.

Cesar Buzo then stepped to the plate for Southwest and appeared to ground out to second base.

That would have ended the game as the base umpire called Buzo out. The Eagles appealed to the plate umpire, who ruled Buzo safe, saying the Brawley first baseman had pulled his foot off the bag stretching to catch the throw.

Carranza and the Wildcats argued the reversal, which allowed Martinez to score the tying run.

"He really did pull his foot," Carranza admitted after the game. "We were just hoping the home plate umpire didn't see it."

In the ninth Brawley tacked on three big runs. With one out Calles singled off the pitcher's foot. Walks then loaded the bases.

Burnett followed with a base on balls to force in a run. A throwing error allowed two more runs to score.

James got aboard on a walk to start the last half of the ninth. That signaled an end to Calles' brilliant effort on the mound.

Santana came on in relief and Lopez doubled to left center on the first pitch he saw.

Ainza then singled to right field to score James. Lopez tried to take third on the play but was thrown out.

Santana then got the next batter to pop out to third before registering the final out on a strikeout.

"That's a tough loss," Carter said. "Our guys played their hearts out."

Burnett had three hits for Brawley, Santana had two, and Ruiz, Ezequiel Garcia, Escutia, Matt Smith and Calles all had one.

Caldera, Lopez, Ainza and Martinez all had three hits for Southwest, and Arballo and Brent Peterson both had one.

Brawley (9-8 overall, 5-2 Imperial Valley League) hosts Holtville at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday. Southwest (9-12, 2-5 IVL) next plays at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Imperial.

Central 7, Calexico 5

CALEXICO — Enrique Lechuga finished 3-for-4 with three RBI and two runs to lead the Central Union High baseball team to a 7-5 victory over Calexico in Imperial Valley League action here Friday.

Also contributing offensively for Central (6-1 IVL) were Mario Gastelum with a hit and two RBI and Mario Meza, who went 2-for-3.

Dan Gonzalez picked up the win on the mound for the Spartans.

J.P. Gonzalez led Calexico, (3-4 IVL) going 3-for-4.

Calexico plays at Palo Verde in Blythe at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday and Central hosts Palo Verde at 4:15 p.m. Friday.

Imperial 11, Holtville 5

IMPERIAL — A six-run sixth inning was enough to lead the Imperial High baseball team to an 11-5 Imperial Valley League victory over Holtville here Friday.

Eddie Martinez earned the win, going 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit, no earned runs and striking out two.

Kevin Williams finished 3-for-5 with a double, two stolen bases, a run and an RBI for the Tigers (3-4 IVL). Brenden Lopez reached base four times with three walks with an RBI and Bryan Seeger recorded two RBI.

Edward Castro finished with two hits, including a double, and an RBI for the Vikings (2-5).

Calipatria 16, Borrego Springs 4

CALIPATRIA — The Calipatria High baseball team had little trouble getting past Borrego Springs in Citrus League action here Friday, beating it 16-4 in five innings.

Leading the Hornet offense were Ezequiel Navarro and Andy Peralta, both going 3-for-4.

Donald Schiller picked up the win on the mound for Calipatria, pitching two innings.

The Hornets play at Julian at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday.

Imperial Valley Press Online Articles