Mule Baseballl vs. Tulia (3-22-14)
The Mules improved their district record to 1-1 Saturday when they hosted the Tulia Hornets. The Mules defeated the Hornets 4-3 in a tight game.
Wes Clarkson struck out the first Hornet he faced on three straight pitches. Grey Johnson chased down a hard hit fly ball to center field for the second out. Matt Barron charged a soft hit ground ball. He raced in on the infield grass, scooped up the ground ball and fired a strike to Dustin Smith at first for the final out.
Barron lined the first pitch he saw past the third baseman for a single. Nathan Rejino flew out to left field and Barron had to hold at first. Braden Bessire’s hard hit ground ball bounced off the shortstop’s glove and rolled into center field.
Barron was running on the pitch and round second and third and scooted home for the first run of the game. The Mules led the game 1-0 after one inning.
Tulia’s first batter reached on an error. The Mules committed a second error to put runners at first and second.
Barron turned a ground ball to shortstop into a double play. He scooped up the ball and pitched it to Rejino at second. Rejino stepped on second and relayed the ball to Smith at first to complete the double play. Clarkson struck out the final batter on just three pitches.
Danny Campos sent a line drive to the corner in left field for a double. Keagan Gonzales drove a double to left field to score Campos. Nacho Elizalde bunted back to first and was thrown out at first and Gonzales had to hold at second.
Clarkson popped out to first base and Gonzales had to stay at second. Barron’s ground ball to short tied the hand of the short stop and Gonzales scored.
The third baseman bobbled Rejino’s ground ball and Barron was off and running on the pitch. The throw to first was off the mark and Barron rounded third and scored. The Mules led 4-0 after two innings.
The Mules did not score again.
Clarkson struck out the first Hornet he faced in the top of the third inning. A single to center field put a runner on first base. That was followed with a ground ball to right for a single and put runners at first and second. The next batter hit a fly ball to right field.
Nacho Elizalde caught the fly ball and threw the ball on a line toward home plate. The runner at third tagged up and then broke toward home plate. Smith cut the throw between first and home and relayed a strike to Bessire in time to make the tag and complete a 9-3-2 double play to keep Tulia scoreless.
The Hornets pushed a run across in the third inning and loaded the bases with two out. Elizalde came in from right field in relief and Clarkson went to right field. A ground ball to Rejino at second ended the inning. The Mules led 4-1 after four innings.
A two run home run in the top of seventh cut the Mules lead to 4-3 with two out. Elizalde got the final batter to go down swinging and save the game.
Clarkson struck out two, gave up three hits and one run. The Mules pulled two double plays and committed three errors while Clarkson was on the hill. Tulia left four on base while Clarkson was pitching.
Elizalde struck out five, gave up four hits and two runs. The Mules committed no errors behind Elizalde. The Mules had eight hits and left five men on base. Tulia stranded one man on base when Elizalde was on the mound.
Barron, Campos and Gonzales had two hits each while Smith and Elizalde had one hit apiece.
The Mules traveled to Littlefield on Tuesday and are on the road Saturday in Olton.