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Kofa gets revenge with win over San Luis
In the blink of an inning, the Kofa baseball team saw its five-run lead evaporate against San Luis.
But the Kings took advantage of some key miscues by the Sidewinders in the following inning and held on for an 8-7 win in five innings in the first day of the Shamrock Baseball Classic on Thursday at Yuma Catholic.
“It's a roller coaster. You don't want to be in a position to let them back in it but I'm proud of our guys that they stayed with it and responded and scratched back,” Kofa coach Richy Leon said.
Junior left-handed pitcher Austin Smith got the win by throwing 2 2/3 innings of relief for the Kings. Kofa senior Miguel Rosas went 2 for 2 with three runs and senior Manny Camacho had three RBIs.
For the Sidewinders, junior Jorge Durate went 3 for 3 with three runs, senior Alexander Bazua got two hits and an RBI and senior Alejandro Aguilar had a pair of RBI groundouts.
The two teams met in a regular season matchup on Tuesday, with the Sidewinders winning 3-1 behind a strong pitching performance from Bazua.
“I don't think we're throwing guys at each other in tournaments because we know we don't want to show anything early in the tournament to a conference team, per se,” Castillo said. “So we have to be smart about handling our rotation for this tournament and at the same time being ready for next week.”
Kofa, which lost 5-2 to Calexico earlier in the day, gained control early when Camacho drew a bases loaded, no-out walk to score Rosas in the first inning. Junior George Cordova followed by smacking a line drive that got past a sliding San Luis right fielder Fernando Fimbres and rolled far enough to clear the bases and left Cordova on third base. Fimbres made up for it by fielding a bloop single by Alexis Ortega and throwing out Cordova at home.
The following inning, Camacho smacked a two-run single to center field to make it 6-1 Kofa and ended the night of San Luis starting pitcher Daniel Torres, who got a no decision after throwing 1 2/3 innings and allowed four earned runs on six hits.
However, Kofa made enough miscues to let San Luis back in it in the bottom of the third and the Sidewinders took advantage to score five runs to tie it 6-6. San Luis leadoff hitter Jonathan Bazua reached when Kofa starting pitcher Kalani Mills hit him with a pitch and advanced to third on an infield single by Durate and a passed ball. Aguilar followed with an RBI groundout to first, Fimbres got an RBI single, Alexander Bazua singled and Arturo Ramirez was hit by a pitch.
Miguel Valenzuela followed by laying down a bunt to third but Kofa third baseman Alexis Ortega's throw to the plate was off and allowed Alexander Bazua to score and Ramirez later scored on a sac fly to left field by Fernando Santiago to cap the five-run third.
“I saw a lot of great things today,” Castillo said. “Being down and being able to scrap and that's what we'll need to do.”
Kofa answered when Rosas singled to start the top of the fourth, stole second then scored when San Luis reliever Esparza Everardo fielded a bunt by Matthew Valdez and threw it past the third baseman. Four batters later, Valdez scored on a balk by Santiago to make it 8-6 and Smith held onto the lead the rest of the way.
“Right now how we started our season, a win's a win,” Leon said. “You'd like to get them in Power Points but we'll get them in this tournament for when we are in Power Point games and we're clicking better than we are right now.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.