MHS edges PHS to clinch first in EYL
A remarkable game played by both the Porterville High Panthers and the Monache Marauder baseball teams delighted the fans gathered at the Monache baseball diamond. An incredible eight inning game closed out at a nail biting 7-6 win for the Marauders.
The Marauders are in first place in the East Yosemite league at 12-2. Monache pitcher Richie Bailey has certainly made waves with his careful pitching, often keeping the Marauders in the game defensively against tough opponents like PHS.
Many Marauders and Panthers landed solid hits. With the Marauders Bailey, Jayson Castillo, A.J. Cox, Gustavo Andrade, and Zach Milhous each earned runs. Panthers Nowh Bowers, Louie Torres, Jonathan Delgado, Cristian Sanchez, and Diego Dulay scored their six runs to almost win against the Marauders after their close game.
The first inning was fast and exciting with Bailey pitching for the Marauders and shutting down the Panther offense after a couple of hits and five batters faced. With the bottom of the first starting, Milhous took to the batter’s box and landed a solid hit to center field taking first base. Andrade followed his teammate and nailed the first pitch thrown his way into right field. Andrade ran to first as Milhous took second. Castillo then hammered a pitch down into the outfield to load the bases for the Marauders.
Cabanyog sent the ball flying bringing in Andrade and Milhous. Marauder Colton Isom hit a good pitch into center field allowing Castillo to run in for the Marauders third run of the game.
With the second inning starting and the score 3-0 the Panthers were in a tight spot. However, it seems they started to rally with Sanchez earning a hit after waiting for three balls on base. Dylan followed his teammate and destroyed a pitch by Bailey for a triple. Dulay was brought in just moments later with the help of Ivan Arias bringing the game to 3-2.
Milhous earned the second run of his game during the second inning, Bailey also hit a line drive out to left field. With two runners on Andrade stepped up to the plate and had a solid hit to load the bases. Cox brought in Milhous.
It was the top of the seventh the Panthers took the lead after solid plays by Delgado in the inning previous, and with Bowers and Torres both earning runs for the Panthers to lead 6-4 against the Marauders. Monache had a tough battle ahead of them but through perseverance they would prevail.
Starting the Marauders off was Cox who reached first. Castillo walked. Alcantar nailed a pitch thrown his way and brought in Cox for the Marauders. Marauder Ty Baxter stepped up to the plate and had an amazing hit as he sent the ball flying to the fence bringing in Castillo for the tieing run.
The final margin for the Marauders happened in the eighth inning with Bailey earning a walk and being brought home by Andrade, Milhous and Cox.
“For us it all boiled down to our defense,” MHS coach AJ Watts said. “Bailey has been aces just all year. I couldn’t ask for more.
Even when he’s not at his best he’s still remarkable in finding ways to get openings to the team.
“Andrade was there with the assists doing a fine job all around. Defensively we did fine, we made a few plays a bit sloppier than we should have but it’s been a good game. PHS has some serious arms and they played the whole game really making us work for it. I think being at home certainly helped amp the guys up. A.J. Cox did some good work this game as well with that great hit that brought in Bailey. It would have been a multiple run ball but at the end we just needed the one. I’m looking forward to playing them again.”
Monache will finish first in the EYL since 1999. “So it’s been a goal of ours to get here so now we’re looking forward to playoffs,” Watts said.
“We stayed there but we made too many mistakes.” PHS coach Pete Carganilla said “We had good hits but defensively we had a few flops and errors. Four to be exact. We’ll keep playing hard and planning on what to do next but I applaud Monache and coach Watts. It was a good game.”