Most Viewed Stories
Vega, Raider offense trounces Kofa
C 1201132 — 10-16-4
K 0010021 — 4-7-3
2B: Cibola, Valenzuela; Kofa, Valdez RBI: Cibola, Valenzuela 2, Elizarraras 2, D. Flores, Velarde, Ad. Vega; Kofa, Morales, Aguirrebarrena SB: Cibola, Frost, Valenzuela, Velarde WP: Ad. Vega (1-0) LP: Valdez (1-2)
The bats for the Cibola baseball team were hot early and often at Kofa.
The Raiders had at least one hit in every inning and beat the Kings 10-4 on Friday afternoon.
Cibola finished the game with 16 hits — four of which came from center fielder Zebastian Valenzuela, who scored three times and had a double in the first.
“I was pleased with how we put the ball in play early in the game. We put them on the defense and that's what we want to do,” Cibola coach Duane Evans said. “And Zebastian just had a heck of a day. He's been really hot for us.”
“We were due. We've had a lot of close line drives where we haven't found a hole. About time we did,” Valenzuela said.
Making his first start of the year, Cibola junior Adan Vega threw a complete game, allowing seven hits and two earned runs — and went 3 for 5 at the plate with an RBI.
“I felt pretty comfortable. I was trying to get on top of the count, first-pitch strikes,” Vega said. “I kind of let it slip in the last few innings but my teammates helped me out offensively.”
Much of the damage perpetrated by the Cibola offense was against Kofa senior ace Matthew Valdez, who in his last outing pitched four perfect innings and struck out 11 against Palo Verde. Against the Raiders, however, Valdez pitched 4 1/3 innings and struck out four — but allowed 11 hits that resulted in five runs, two of which were earned.
“Matt's got stuff — to me — where even if he's not hitting his spots he can dominate, but obviously they did a heck of a job,” Kofa coach Richy Leon said. “They competed and put the ball in play and that's what you need to do.”
“He's a very good pitcher but all these players have grown up together and they know these kids and it's nice to see us not mentally think, ‘Oh, he's a good guy. We can't hit him.' We came out and swung the bat,” Evans said.
Oscar Elizarraras and Rogelio Verela each had two hits for the Raiders, who play Tucson-Sunnyside at 1 p.m. today.
With a 5-1 lead, Vega got into some trouble in the fifth inning when Kofa loaded the bases with no outs and the top of the order up to bat after Christopher Aguirrebarrena and Kalani Mills reached on singles and Ian Miranda got on by a fielding error. However, Miguel Rosas popped up to shortstop and Valdez lined out to second baseman Tim Frost — who doubled off Mills at first base to end the inning.
The Raiders (3-5 overall, 3-1 in power-point games) responded by scoring three more runs in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach.
“As a coach, you kind of get the sense of how your team is. Obviously that's a turning point, and as a coach you can sense it that we were flat and we didn't come out to compete,” Leon said.
Kofa (3-8, 0-3) was coming off an emotional, nine-inning 5-2 loss to Gila Ridge on Thursday night.
“I guess you can blame it on the night before — tired, emotionally draining game but if you're going to play baseball you have to do it two days in a row,” Leon said. “I was proud of them last night. We competed. It's a different team that showed up today.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at email@example.com or 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.