Baseball: Aztecs conquer Spartans, come up short against Chieftains

Farmersville won its home playoff game against South High School before falling to top-seeded Chieftains in the quarterfinals

FARMERSVILLE – Farmersville was just one run short of buying themselves one more inning to keep their championship dreams alive. 

The No. 8 Aztecs traveled to Tollhouse to play the top seeded Sierra Chieftains May 19 in the quarterfinals of the Division VI Central Section playoffs. Farmersville got on the scoreboard early with a one-run lead after the first inning. The lead was short-lived as Sierra scored two runs in the second, two more in the third and three in the fourth, on their way to a 9-6 lead heading into the seventh inning. Farmersville was able to rally in the final inning with two more runs but the final out came with the Chieftains winning 9-8.

Farmersville did manage to give its home crowd a taste of playoff victory on May 17 when the Aztecs took down the South High School Spartans from Bakersfield. After a scoreless first inning, Farmersville came out swinging in the second. The Aztecs Anthony Salinas laid down what he thought was a sacrifice bunt to move the runners but instead turned into an RBI double scoring teammate Sam Espinoza. South escaped the three-run inning by throwing out Farmersville’s Ziler Almanza at home. 

The Aztecs unleashed an offensive onslaught in the fourth inning scoring nine runs. The first two batters were walked and hit by a pitch before Salinas again bunted a perfect ball down the third baseline to load the bases. South’s starting pitcher Gene Wright then walked the next two batters to give Farmersville a 5-0 lead. Wright gave up another four runs in the inning before he was relieved. 

The Chieftains’ bats finally showed some life in the fifth inning when the Aztecs began making errors in the field including starting pitcher Matt Canisales. Farmersville added a run in the bottom of the fifth to build a 13-3 lead. 

South went on the offensive again in the sixth inning after Farmersville brought pitcher Jimmy Barnette in relief. With runners on first and second, the Chieftains’ Oscar Islas stole home, kicking off a five-run, two-out rally in the fifth to close the gap to 13-9. The Aztecs answered in the bottom of the sixth with five runs of their own, and a commanding 18-9 lead heading into the final inning. 

Farmersville’s Sam Espinoza came in to close out the game in the top of the seventh. South was able to muster one more run in the top of the seventh when Jose Bojorquez drove a pitch into centerfield scoring teammate Luis Flores. Espinoza struck out one batter and forced to flyouts to end the game and earn the save for the Aztecs.

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