By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
WOODLAKE – The Tigers, after being close to getting their first win of the season, finally broke through last Wednesday night. Woodlake played Summit Charter Collegiate Academy Bears in their final game of the Ron Robinson Classic. It was also the only win notched by a foothills area school.
Trailing 6-3 in the fourth Robby Stevenson blasted a home run early on. It was his third in three games. The early score rattled the Bears (4-7) Tah Wun Nahl Gibson, and be began to walk one batter after another. Eventually the Tigers (1-8) went through their batting order which brought Stevenson up again. Instead of risking a grand slam the Bears walked him. A run scored for the Tigers, but the damage had been limited. By the time the Bears achieved the final out Woodlake had scored seven runs and had built a 10-6 lead.
“We are beginning to get the bat on the ball a lot better,” Woodlake head coach Ryan Martinez said. “With Summit being short on pitchers it put us in a good spot to pull out a win.”
Woodlake’s pursuit of their first win last week came at a hefty price. Over the course of the tournament the Tigers lost two catchers and an outfielder to injuries. One catcher might be done for the season with a torn medial collateral ligament (MCL). Martinez is now putting pressure on his team to fill the spots.
“I told a lot of the younger players this is their opportunity to start making a name for themselves and gain a position,” Martinez said.
Already a predominantly young team the injuries will make getting wins for the Tigers even more difficult. A week off before hosting the Strathmore Spartans tonight should help the Tigers with some of the lesser injuries. More importantly the rest will help with their pitching. Game time for the Woodlake versus Strathmore game is 4 p.m.
The Aztecs (2-6, 1-0) reverted back to their beginning of the season ways. Over the three days fielding errors and no show players were more common than runs scored for Farmersville.
“I was not happy with our performance at all,” Farmersville head coach Freddie Lopez said. “It is unfortunate we are still dealing with these things this late in the season.”
Before the first pitch was thrown against the Sierra Chieftains on the first day Farmersville was already behind. Five seniors failed to show up. Lopez had to move so many players around it resulted in a 20-0 loss.
By the final day against the Granite Hills Grizzlies (2-10, 0-1) all but one Aztec player had shown up, including David Contreras, who took the mound. Neither had much effect on the outcome as Farmersville lost 15-2.
Contreras had little control of his pitches in the outing. Many of them were at the batter’s chest. The rust from the hiatus also showed as the Aztecs committed six errors, the most since the first week of the season.
“I really thought our defense had settled down, and then with David elevating the ball it was really disappointing,” Lopez said.
Tonight the Aztecs continue East Sierra League (ESiL) play on the road against Orosi. It will be Farmersville’s first test in the ESiL. First pitch is scheduled for 4 p.m.