Mule Baseball vs. Lockney & Littefield Tourny (2-25&2-28,3-1)
Spring sport athletes must learn to adjust to revised schedules on the fly. The Mule baseball game with Morton was cancelled on Monday because the Indians did not have enough for a team.
But the Lockney Longhorns were also in need of a game so they traveled to Muleshoe on Tuesday evening. The Mules fell behind in the first inning on an unearned run. They began to rally back in the bottom of the fourth inning to tie the game.
The rally continued into the fifth and sixth innings. The Mules defeated the Longhorns 9-1 in preparation for the Littlefield Tournament. The Mules played two games on Friday and defeated the Trinity Christian Lions 7-5.
The original bracket would have had the Mules going against the Bushland Falcons on Friday afternoon but they had to withdraw because the Falcon basketball team was playing in the Region I Tournament.
The Mules were then rescheduled to play the host Littlefield Wildcats. The Mules gave up eight runs in the second inning and went down to defeat 12-2 to Littlefield. The Mules defeated Amarillo’s San Jacinto Christian Academy 7-1 to take the third place trophy.
Lockney’s first batter singled. Wes Clarkson fielded the second batter’s ground ball and threw to Matt Barron covering second base. The new base runner stole second and advanced to third base as Clarkson struck out the third batter.
The run scored on a balk before Clarkson struck out the final batter. The Mules held the Longhorns scoreless after that. Clarkson struck out 13 batters in the first six innings.
Nathan Rejino came on in relief and popped the first batter up and Mule catcher Braden Bessire camped under the ball and made the catch for out number one. Rejino struck out the final two batters.
The Mules tied the game in the bottom of the fourth inning blasted a standup triple off the fence in left field to lead off the inning. Rejino laid a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline to score Barron and tie the game.
The Mules did most of their damage to Lockney in the fifth inning when six Mules crossed the plate. Danny Campos got the rally started with a single to right-center field. Clarkson bunted between third and the pitcher and Campos was running on the hit and run. Both Campos and Clarkson were safe.
Nacho Elizalde reached first on an error by the short stop and Campos scored to put the Mules ahead to stay. Bessire laid a sacrifice bunt down the first baseline and scored Clarkson.
Barron singled to left to score Elizalde and went to second on the throw. Dustin Smith and Keagan Gonzales both reached base on errors by the Longhorns.
Smith scored on the error by the second baseman and Gonzales went home on a passed ball. The Mules had increased the lead to 7-1. Campos and Triston Boehning both scored on a double by Bessire to end all scoring.
This was the third meeting between the Mules and Trinity Christian. The Mules had opened a 5-3 lead by the end of the third inning. Trinity mounted a come back but the Mules held them off with two runs in the fifth inning to secure the win.
Bessire doubled to right field and Barron brought him home with a single to left field. Barron went to second on the throw. Rejino bunted back to the pitcher to sacrifice Barron to third. Barron was off and running on the pitch, rounded third and raced home for the Mules second run of the inning.
Johnson drew a two out walk and scored on a triple to right in the top of the second inning to put the Mules on top 3-0. Trinity scored their first run in the bottom of the second inning.
Gonzales hit a two-out double passed the third baseman and Chuy Manzanares brought him home with a single to right field to score Gonzales. Elizalde lined a single to right field to score Gonzales and give the Mules a 5-1 lead.
Trinity battled back with two runs in the bottom of the third inning to stay close to the Mules at 5-3.
Smith led off the top of the fifth inning with a double to right field. Elizalde lined a single to right field to score Smith. Elizalde went to second on a single to right by Campos. Elizalde stole third base and then stole home to extend the Mules’ lead to 7-3.
Trinity made one final run at the Mules and scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning but could not catch the Mules.
The Mules had a tough second inning against Littlefield and gave up eight runs to the Wildcats. The Mules could not recover and went down to defeat.
Saturday was a better day for the Mules as they faced San Jacinto in the battle for third place in the tournament. San Jacinto broke the scoring ice in the top of the fourth inning to take a 1-0 lead.
Manzanares led off for the Mules with a double to left field and advanced to third on a wild pitch. Elizalde drew a walk and then stole second base. Manzanares took a walking lead and stole home for the Mules first run.
Rejino moved Elizalde to third with a sacrifice bunt back to the pitcher. Clarkson beat out a bunt down the first baseline and Elizalde scored on the base hit to put the Mules in the lead to stay.
Nether team scored until the Mules added two runs in the fifth inning. Barron singled up the middle and then stole second base to start the bottom of the fifth inning. Gonzales singled and Barron went to third base. Barron scored on a wild pitch and Gonzales went to second. Smith singled to center to score Gonzales.
The Mules added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth. Clarkson doubled to right field and was followed by a double to centerfield by Johnson that scored Clarkson. Johnson stole third base and scored a single to center by Gonzales.
The Mules slammed the door on San Jacinto in the top of the seventh inning. Rejino struck out the first batter and the second grounded out to Clarkson at first base. Barron scooped up a ground ball and fired it to Clarkson for the final out of the game.
The Mules traveled to Lockney to face the Longhorns Tuesday and return home to host the Hale Center Owls Saturday.