San Luis breaks away late, takes down Yuma High
The first pitch from Yuma High reliever Marley Robbins hit the dirt and rolled to the backstop.
San Luis sophomore Fernando Fimbres took off for third base and got a little greedy. Fimbres kept his motor running and sprinted home under the tag of Robbins — scoring a run that was part of a big fifth inning and the Sidewinders pulled away for a 7-1 win at home against the Criminals.
“The past few practices we've been talking about being aggressive on the bases and reading the balls in the dirt,” San Luis coach Cesar Castillo said of the play by Fimbres, who finished 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
“I was just thinking about taking the extra base and taking home if I had the opportunity,” said Fimbres, who went home on his own decision.
The Sidewinders (4-1 overall, 1-0 in AIA power-point games) got a strong pitching performance by ace Alexander Bazua. The senior right-hander pitched a complete game, allowing five hits and striking out seven to improve to 1-0 on the season.
“One of the things that happened was their guy threw extremely well,” Yuma High coach Judd Thrower said of Bazua, who retired six of the seven leadoff hitters. “He was throwing strikes — fastballs, curveballs, mixing it up. We struggled offensively.”
“Before the game I felt good and I knew I was going to have a good game,” Bazua said.
San Luis broke the game open late, scoring five of its runs in the fifth and sixth inning. Bazua helped himself at the plate, going 2 for 3 with an RBI and a stolen base and junior center fielder Jorge Duarte scored three times with two hits and an RBI for the Sidewinders.
“We went 2 for 4 with runners on third with less than two outs and we need to work on those kind of things. If we want to win more ball games, that's going to be the key throughout the season — moving runners over from first to second or second to third,” Castillo said.
The two teams face each other again at 4 p.m. today at Yuma High.
The Criminals (2-3, 0-1) kept it close in the first half of the contest, tying the game 1-1 in the top of the fourth when a passed ball led to a run by senior center fielder Daniel Ramirez, who went 2 for 3 in the loss.
But the bottom of the fourth featured a reverse of momentum for the Criminals.
With runners on first and second, Yuma High starting pitcher Nick Mendoza picked off Bazua at second base for the second out of the inning. On the following play, Mendoza turned to pick off Arturo Ramirez at first base — but Yuma High first baseman George Magallanes wasn't at the bag, which resulted in a balk for the Criminals.
Sidewinder sophomore Marcos Diaz responded by smacking a double to left field to score Ramirez from second base and gave San Luis the lead for good.
“Any time you give a guy an extra base and an extra run against a team like this, it's important,” Thrower said. “We just got a big defensive play — we should have got out of it. We had the momentum and it drifted the momentum back to them, and momentum is a big thing in high school.”
San Luis followed with five hits — including three doubles — for three runs in the fifth inning. The scoring in the fifth was capped by Fimbres' mad dash from second to home. Mendoza (1-1) picked up the loss going 4 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits and giving up four earned runs.
“We got to the bullpen, which is crucial,” Castillo said. “We put the pressure on and being ahead did help.”
Jesse Severson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 539-6881. Find him on Facebook at facebook.com/YSJesseSeverson.