Babe Ruth all-stars under way

June 26, 2002|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — The Imperial 14-15-year-old Babe Ruth all-stars led Holtville 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning when Imperial closer Eddie Martinez took the mound.

But it wasn't Martinez's pitching that got him the save and his team a first-round victory in the first Division 7 inter-city tournament here Tuesday. Instead it was Martinez tagging out Holtville all-star Bucky Durant at home plate.

"It feels pretty good," Martinez said. "It feels good getting the save."

Durant tried to steal home to tie the game on a passed ball.

Imperial had to stave off Holtville, which always seemed to be either leading or threatening.

Holtville went up 3-0 in the second before Imperial's J.R. Antunez and Martinez scored on a Max Ortega single in the third to pull the score to 3-2.

Durant, however, increased his team's lead when he got an RBI in the bottom of the third after being walked with bases loaded. Matthew Bentley crossed home plate, making the score 4-2.


Clay Benton and Antunez each hit RBI singles for Imperial in the top of the fourth to tie the game 4-4.

With the game tied at 5-5 in the top of the seventh, Imperial all-star Gabriel Madrid scored on a fielding error, bringing the score to 6-5 and setting the stage for Martinez.

Imperial coach Jaime Estrada described the game as "exciting."

"They say that Holtville is very easy, but it's not," Estrada said. "I give them a lot of credit."

He added, "You never know what's going to happen. It was very exciting."

Estrada said he was proud of his pitching staff and his team as a whole.

"All my players gave 100 percent," he said. "It was a team effort."

Estrada plans to start Martinez in today's second-round match against the Brawley all-stars, which starts at 6 tonight in Imperial. Brawley drew a first-round bye.

"Hopefully I can get five innings out of him," Estrada said.

Martinez said he is looking forward to tonight.

"I've got to mix up my pitches," Martinez explained. "I can't just throw the same. … I hope I do good."

In other 14-15-year-old inter-city action, Calexico all-star Joshua Patton threw three strikeouts in seven innings to help his squad get past El Centro 2-1.

Calexico's Ernie Sanchez walked in the bottom of the seventh with the score tied at 1 and scored on an error.

El Centro all-star Julian Arballa struck out seven batters.

El Centro will face Holtville at 8:30 tonight in Imperial in the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

In the 13-year-old inter-city tournament being played at Brawley's Wiest Field, Imperial shut out Calexico 13-0 and Brawley topped Holtville 18-6 in five innings.

Brawley will take on El Centro, which had a first-round bye, at 6 tonight and Calexico will face Holtville in the losers' bracket at 8:30 tonight. Both games are in Brawley.

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