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Former Cibola pitcher throws complete game in Diablos' tournament opener
Former Cibola and current Yuma Diablos pitcher Christian Marquez breezed through seven innings Thursday en route to a 8-1 win over the C-Bats in their first game of the Baseball Legends Cecil Fielder Elite World Series.
Marquez, who is attending New Mexico Junior College on a baseball scholarship, went six up and six down in his first two innings. He allowed a leadoff single in the third but was able to pick off the base runner and retire the next two batters, facing the minimum through the first three innings.
“I was just there, I felt good,” Marquez said.
Marquez did hit a rough patch in the fourth inning, allowing a lead-off triple. His control was a little shaky for the next batter, missing high on consecutive pitches, and ended up allowing the runner on third to score on a wild pitch, tying the game at 1-1.
“He's been throwing short bullpens for the fall season, so we were kind of worried because he's been throwing three innings (at a time) there,” said Diablos manager Faron Owl. “There was that point where he was at that third or fourth inning. I was thinking about that and I said, well he hasn't been there, let's see how far he goes.”
Marquez was able to settle down and cruised the rest of the game, allowing only one more hit to the C-Bats.
Marquez's final pitching line was 7 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 7 K and 1 BB.
Both offenses struggled to get anything going until the bottom of the Diablos batting order came alive in the fifth inning.
After Bobby Mena led off the inning with a walk, Joshua Morales laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line. An errant throw from the C-Bats' third basemen allowed both runners to move into scoring position. The No. 10 batter Caeden Ethington drew another walk, loading the bases, and the Diablos played station-to-station baseball from there, scoring four runs to put them up 5-1.
“That was pretty much good execution from the bottom of the order,” Owl said. “That's what's been carrying us in these tournaments. When you get the bottom of the order to be successful, it makes everything easier for the top of the order because all they have to do is execute and hit the ball.”
The Diablos scored three more times in the sixth inning and allowed Marquez to shut the door in the seventh inning for a complete game.
“It was a good first game, but we have a long weekend ahead of us,” Owl said. “Two important games tomorrow, but the good thing about it is the first one is behind us and now were on to game two.”
The Diablos will face H.D.B.A at 8 a.m. Saturday at the Ray Kroc Complex Field 3, and then play Team Boom at 1 p.m. on Field 2.