Baseball: Duran Cousins help Cardinals defeat Tigers 5-2, remain in title hunt

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Ethan and Isaiah Duran have a hand in three-run seventh inning to end the game

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

WOODLAKE – It was a family affair which gave the Lindsay Cardinals the 5-2 win over the Woodlake Tigers on Friday night, April 20. Not just because of the last name of two of the players, but the team chemistry Lindsay has.

In the top of the seventh inning Ethan Duran stepped up to the plate for his only at bat. A turned ankle had kept him out of the lineup for the last two weeks. Now he represented the winning run of a 2-2 tie for the Cardinals. Unable to put much power on his swing he hit a soft fly ball to right field. Although uncharacteristic of Duran, it was enough as the Tiger fielders dropped the ball.

“He came in there limping and was able to get us a base hit to start us off this inning, so we have to give him a shout out,” Lindsay head coach Brett Kendig said.

Kendig decided to pitch run Duran with Julio Godoy. A steal attempt and two passed balls later allowed Godoy to score the game winning run.

Later in the inning the Cardinals added two insurance runs. Now with two outs and Jara on second the Cardinals put on the hit and run. Isaiah patiently waited for Stevenson fast ball. When it came on the third pitch of the at bat he lined it back up the middle for a single. With a big jump off second, Jara easily rounded third and scored. An errant throw toward home allowed Isaiah to advance to second.

What followed was two more errant throws by the Tigers as they attempted to get the final out. The last throw allowed Isaiah to score the last insurance run.

“It was a team win today,” Isaiah said. “It was our entire lineup and when the top of it wasn’t able to come through the bottom kept us in the game.”

While the final runs came in the seventh the game was almost decided in the sixth inning. Another fly ball to shallow right field sent Nick Dunning from second to third. As he rounded the base he lost his footing and was caught 10 feet from the bag. As the relay throw came in Dunning took off toward home instead of retreating. A collision knocked with the Tigers catcher knocked both players from their feet and the ball. Dunning got up and tag home before Woodlake recovered the ball.

After the play the field umpire came in and called Dunning out which nullified the run. Dunning was also thrown out of the game. According to Kendig it was because he lowered his shoulder in the collision.

“There was definitely a collision, but the catcher was moving toward Nick,” Kendig said. “The runner should have a path to the plate, I think.”

While it did not have an effect on the scoreboard it did have one on the outcome of the game. For much of the game the Lindsay dugout buzzed with excitement.

“When one of our boys goes down it fires you up,” Isaiah said. “You never want to see that happen, especially when it is such a good game.”

Woodlake was done in by errors in this outing just as they’ve been all season. For much of the game their communication seemed on point. Relay throws and fly balls were all executed with ease. Yet when the game was on the line, they began to fold.

“We had them down to the seventh inning,” Woodlake head coach Ryan Martinez said. “We made some errors and they walk out of here with a win.”

With only seven games left in the regular season the Cardinals now sit in second place, three games behind Sierra Pacific, in the East Sequoia League standings. In order to make a charge they will have to take two away from the Golden Bears this next week. The two teams will play each other on Wednesday and Friday beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday’s game is in Hanford. On Friday they return to Lindsay.

“We are definitely in the hunt,” Kendig said.

Woodlake will play the Granite Hills Grizzlies three times this week. Monday was the first meeting. The game happened after press time. Tonight is the only home game of the stretch with the first pitch at 4 p.m.

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