Baseball: Lindsay falls out of playoffs

After trouncing Delano 11-3 at home, Linsay loses to the No. 1 ranked Minarets Mustangs 6-4

LINDSAY – Despite dropping 11 runs on the Delano Tigers in the opening round of the Division V playoffs, the Lindsay Cardinals ended their season in a quarterfinal loss to the Minarets Mustangs.

Last Wednesday, the Cards took control of their game against the Tigers, early. By the end of the first inning, they were up 2-0. By the end of the third inning, they added five runs to their score. And by the end of the fourth inning the game was well in hand with a 9-1 Lindsay lead.

“[Delano’s] first pitcher is a quality pitcher,” Lindsay head coach Brent Kendig said. “This kid he can battle. But we were prepared though. We prepared the last few days literally, to a tee, the way he throws. So I’m proud of our guys.”

But perhaps Lindsay’s best highlight didn’t come from charging into home, rather it was their defensive double play in the fifth inning. The Tigers were showing some signs of life after stringing a couple hits together. When Delano finally had the chance to come into home Lindsay’s catcher, Nick Dunning met them at the plate. And then he made the heads-up play to throw it across the infield to turn the double play and get out of the inning.

“We just talked to the guys about the importance of hitting the cutoff man in practice, really emphasizing it. You know, Nick behind the plate he’s solid,” Kendig said.

Unfortunately, Lindsay’s luck did not last long past their 11-3 win over Delano. The Cardinals were forced to play the No. 1 ranked Minarets Mustangs last Friday. They lost 6-2. Kendig said it would be a difficult matchup for his squad.

“They’re a really good well coached team we’ve played them in the past,” Kendig said.

Ultimately, Lindsay ends their 2021 season 12-12 overall and 8-3 in East Sequoia League play, good enough for a third-place ranking. In the compacted season the only team to go undefeated in league was the Sierra Pacific Golden Bears who ended their season 12-0. The next best team were the Corcoran Panthers who ended their season 9-3.

Below Lindsay was a pretty steep drop. The next best team behind Lindsay were the Strathmore Spartans and Woodlake Tigers who ended their season 4-8. And below them, Farmersville and Granite Hills ended their seasons with two wins a piece.

The majority of Lindsay’s struggles all happened before league. After going on a three game win streak early in the season the Cardinals suffered seven straight losses. Two of them were shutouts and the closest loss was 6-4, in that stretch.

But Lindsay turned things around in April when they won six of their first seven games.

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