Baseball: Granite Hills Grizzlies split first two league games

Granite Hills defeated Farmersville on the road before falling to Corcoran at home

By Jermaine Johnson II

PORTERVILLE – None of the Grizzlies first seven games have been close. They have either won comfortably or have lost by several runs. Therefore, it was fitting that they won their first league game 14-0 and then lost 7-1.

In their five wins this season, Granite Hills has only allowed two runs while scoring an average of 13 runs. Head coach Luis Garcia was hoping that his team would finally have a competitive game against Corcoran. 

“We’ve lit up five teams and then two of them lit us up. I was hoping [Corcoran] would be that game where we battled back-and-forth,” he said. “It was close through four innings and then it got out of hand. We don’t know how to compete in close games and that hurt us today.”

Pitching was no issue for the Grizzlies. Of the seven runs they allowed, only two were earned. The rest were a result of errors. 

“Kudos to them because they put the pressure on us,” Garcia said. “We probably made as many errors today as we had all season. Worst case scenario the game should have been 2-1 them. Their pitcher was throwing pretty well and he got a couple of our boys staring at something that wasn’t there.”

Senior pitcher David Ramirez not only led the team from the mound, but also from the batter’s box. He pitched five innings with three strike-outs and scored the team’s lone run in the bottom of the third inning. It came after the Panthers opened the game with a run and added two more in the top of the third. 

The game began getting out of hand in the sixth inning. After allowing a run that pushed the lead to 4-1, sophomore Alexis Bedolla came in to relieve Ramirez on the mound. He allowed two more runs and got his team out of the inning despite two more runners being on base. 

“We talked about body language, staying competitive the entire game, and staying in the moment instead of getting down. I think we did get down a couple times and that’s why I took out the second basemen mid-inning because I think a couple of the errors were on him,” Garcia said. “His body language was a bit negative and there were a couple of times he didn’t know where to throw the ball, even though they were situations that we cover all the time.”

Garcia felt the move lit a spark under his team, especially since the player that was benched was his son Zuriel Garcia. 

“That’s my kid but he’s no more important than anyone else so I sent a message with that.”

During their five wins, Granite Hills has taken advantage of early runs followed by defensive stops. Strong pitching has also played a pivotal role in the early victories. Ramirez has 2-1 record as a starter while senior Rene Lopez is 3-0. Lopez has also thrown two no hitters, including the league opener against Farmersville where he threw nine strike-outs. 

In addition to closing out games, Garcia believes that his team has to hit better in order to have success during the rest of their league schedule. 

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