Confident Cibola dumps Yuma
Yuma baseball coach Brian Stevenson needed just one word to sum up the difference between his team and the Cibola squad the Criminals opened the season against Wednesday.
The Raiders' 11-2 thumping of host Yuma to begin the Yuma Union High School District tournament was all about confidence, the abundance Cibola had and the lack Yuma displayed.
"(Cibola) has a great program and they played with confidence, while we played scared," Stevenson said. "There's going to be first-game jitters but we're a better team that that."
Trailing 2-0, Yuma committed four errors in the fifth inning, opening the gates to a five-run inning and the Raiders (1-0) never looked back as they batted around in the frame. Overall, Yuma (0-1) committed five errors, while Cibola had none.
The Raiders will host Kofa today and the Criminals host San Luis. Both games are at 3:30 p.m. as the tournament's round-robin play continues.
Cibola junior Jose "Biggie" Flores pitched four innings of two-hit ball to earn the victory, while Jesse Bravo took the loss. Flores (1-0) had two strikeouts, did not walk a batter and did not allow a run.
"I felt good out there," Flores said. "My mechanics were good and all my pitches were working....It feels great to win the first one."
While Cibola coach Duane Evans wasn't 100 percent pleased with everything he saw from his team, he did like the performance he got from his 6-foot-1, 195-pound right hander.
"He's a horse and he wants to take the ball in a situation like this," Evans said. "He was in complete command of all three of his pitches, really hitting his spots."
Thirty-two of Flores' 52 pitches went for strikes.
Flores also performed well at the plate, tallying two hits in three at-bats, including a double, and had an RBI. Senior first baseman Oscar Lemus was 2-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and a pair of walks. Right fielder David Barrios was 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored a run.
Yuma center fielder Mark Welter was 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Chris Gabel can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6883.