Cardinals soar high against the Spartans

Lindsay’s Alex Espinoza smacks the ball on the road against Strathmore. (Kason Clark)

Lindsay baseball beats Strathmore 7-1 to sweep the season series, Cardinals remain in contention for an East Sequoia-Sequoia League title with a 4-1 record this spring

STRATHMORE – In the East Sequoia-Sequoia League rivalry between Lindsay and Strathmore baseball, the Lindsay Cardinals have had the bragging rights lately. Since 2022, the Cardinals have won five straight games against the Spartans and they looked to extend that streak this past Friday night.

And even with the game on the road, the Cardinals took care of business against their rivals with a 7-1 victory. With their win on April 26, the Cardinals have now won six straight against Strathmore, much to the joy of Lindsay head coach Brett Kendig.

“It’s always a big win when we beat the Spartans. They’re a quality program,” Kendig said. “We were very opportunistic today. A couple mistakes went our way, and we have a lot of speed, so we took advantage of some things.”

Along with continuing their success against the Spartans, the Cardinals improved to 13-9 overall. More importantly, they stayed hot in league play as they improved to 4-1 to remain in contention for a league title. And on the road against the Spartans this past Friday, the Cardinals demonstrated why they’re a contender in their league.

In the top of the second inning, Bryan Martinez gave his team a 1-0 lead with an RBI single. Diego Jauregui then used excellent base running to steal home plate to extend Lindsay’s lead to 2-0. Later in the third inning, Bailey Brown drove in a run with an RBI single to make it a 3-0 game.

“We were just coming in to play hard and that’s what we did,” Martinez said about the Cardinal’s strong start against Strathmore. “We knew it was going to be a good game because we got them at home earlier this year.”

In the fifth inning, the Cardinals soared to new heights as they blew the game open. Martinez got things started with an RBI infield single to make it a 4-0 lead. It was the second RBI of the night for Martinez as he found a spark at the plate against Strathmore.

“I was just waiting for my pitch,” Martinez said. “Luckily, I got a ground ball, ran it out and the runners were scoring, so it was all good.”

Matthew Carranza kept it rolling with a double to drive in a pair of runs to make it a 6-0 lead. Nate Lopez then scored on a sacrifice fly from Alex Espinoza to push the lead out to 7-0. The Spartans finally responded in the bottom of the sixth when Roman Hernandez scored on a Lindsay error, but it was too late for them to rally.

Strathmore’s Roman Hernandez hits the ball at home against Lindsay. (Kason Clark)

With their loss, the Spartans fell to 9-12 this season with a 2-3 record in league play. As they look to turn things around and finish this season strong, Strathmore head coach Mark Balderama believes his team needs to fix their defensive mistakes.

“It’s been the little errors that we’ve made. That’s what’s been the difference in all of our losses this year,” Balderama said. “If you take away those errors, then a lot of these ball games are won on our behalf.”

As for the Cardinals, they will look to finish strong in order to capture a league title. If they are going to do that over the coming weeks, Kendig believes the Cardinals need to be more aggressive at the plate in order to pressure opposing defenses.

“We probably need to be a little bit better with our two-strike approach, putting the ball in play and making the other team work for everything they get,” Kendig said. “We can run, so we need to make them play defense a little bit better. That’s probably the number one thing we need to work on.”

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