Monache falls 2-1 to Delano

A one-run lead wasn’t safe enough for Monache High School baseball Thursday afternoon as the Marauders dropped their second East Yosemite League game of the season 2-1 to Delano (5-6, 1-2 EYL) at home.

Monache (5-5, 1-2 EYL) got their slim lead in the bottom of third when Daniel Andrade hit a RBI-single to center field and brought in junior Aidan Galvan for the team’s lone run of the game.

But with neither team getting hits, the Marauders were able to hold onto the lead up until the seventh inning. After going six innings with no runs on three hits and two walks, senior ace Ricky Alba, gave up a single to center field to Delano’s Casey Jasso, who was moved to second on a sacrifice bunt on the next at-bat. 

With Jasso at second and no outs, second baseman Tori Powell relieved Alba on the mound. Facing Powell, Delano’s Aiden Garaygordobil hit a grounder to shortstop Matthew Cloyd but Cloyd’s throw to first baseman, Aaron Hernandez, wasn’t fielded properly and the error resulted in Jasso scoring after having stolen second on an earlier pitch from Powell.

A walk to the Tigers’ Justin Martinez then put runners on first and second. Up to bat, Mariano Balbuena hit an RBI-double to the outfield and brought in Garaygordobil for the game-winning run.

“I think we pitched the heck out of it today and then offensively there’s not going to be a whole lot in the book on it, but I thought we had a lot of at bats [with] hard contact,” MHS head coach A.J. Watts said. “I thought their sophomore, [Delano’s Aaron Cavasos], did a nice job of being around the strike zone, showing a change up at times and then going to a breaking ball kind of in our second half, third time through the lineup. So I want to give a lot of credit to them and the way they played catch. They made plays that a lot of teams, that we have played against this year, haven’t made.”

The Marauders went three up, three down in four of their seven innings with only Andrade, Galvan, Powell and Troy Nieto getting hits. Nieto and Powell both hit doubles with two outs, in the fourth and seventh inning, respectively, but the batters that followed them weren’t able to bring them in.

On Alba, who had the only strikeouts (two) of the day, Watts said, “He was competitive like he always is. Ricky does a nice job of just kind of finding a way to keep us in games. I mean every game really, the two years that him and I have been together, I can’t think of a game where we weren’t in it when he came out of the game. So he does a nice job of locating the fastball. He’s got a little bit of a run. He didn’t have as much of that tonight, with the run on the fastball, he was up just a tick. But as he does, he finds a way to keep collecting outs.” 

The loss moves Monache to 5-5 on the season and into fourth place in the EYL. Watts told the team afterwards the loss would sting but they would be alright.

“We’ll be okay,” Watts said. “We’ll be fine. These kids practice well. They’ll eat it tonight. They’ll be ready to go to practice tomorrow. Hoover on Saturday. They’re a pretty resilient group, they’ll be okay.”

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