Mule Baseball vs. Dimmitt (4-5-14)
The Mule baseball team got back on the winning track Saturday by defeating the Dimmitt Bobcats 5-4. The Mules improved to 2-3 in district and are still in the hunt for a playoff spot in the post season.
Nacho Elizalde got the nod to start the game on the mound and gave up four runs in the first inning after striking out the leadoff batter. An error allowed the second batter to reach first and he walked the second batter.
A single to left field loaded the bases with Bobcats. A second single scored one run and a double to the fence put Dimmitt ahead 4-0.
Elizalde spun and threw a strike to Matt Barron running from his short stop position to cover second base. Barron snagged the throw and made a sweeping tag to pick the runner off second base for the second out of the inning. Elizalde struck out the final batter to end the top half the first inning.
The Mules went in order on three strike outs in the bottom half of the first inning.
A softly hit fly ball fooled Barron coming off the bat. He took two steps back and had to reverse his direction and made a diving catch for the first out of the second inning. A base hit to right field put a Bobcat on first base. Elizalde then hit a batter to put runners on first and second.
Elizalde scooped up a ground ball hit back up the middle, he turned and made the throw to Danny Campos at third for the force out of the lead runner. Grey Johnson made a running catch of a deep fly ball to center field to retire the side. It was a tricky catch because of the high wind blowing out from home plate to center field.
Dustin Smith blasted a line drive between left a center field. He was standing on second by the time the ball was returned to the infield. Campos was hit by a pitch before Jesus Manzanares laid down a perfect bunt down the third baseline to load the bases.
Beto Diaz sent a sacrifice fly ball to right field to score Smith from third base. He tagged up and scored after the catch. The Mules could score no more runs that inning and the Bobcats led 4-1.
A Dimmitt base hit in the top of third inning put a runner at first base. Elizalde got the next batter to hit a short fly to right field. Diaz charged toward the infield and to make a sliding catch that held the runner at first. A fly to shallow left field was reeled in by Bryce Mauricio and the runner had to stay at first.
Elizalde threw a strike to the next batter. Smith made the catch on the pitch and came out of his crouch to throw a strike to Wesley Clarkson at first base. The throw was at the bag and Clarkson made the catch with the ball with the glove between the runner’s hand and first base for the third out.
The Mules left two on base in the bottom of the third but did not score and Dimmitt held on to the 4-1 lead.
Nathan Rejino moved back on the grass at second to grab the fly ball for the first out of the fourth inning. A called strike sent the second batter to the bench before a ground ball through the infield put a Bobcat on first base.
The Dimmitt put on the hit-and-run but the pitch was fouled off for first strike. Dimmitt batter. Elizalde stopped his windup, spun and threw to Clarkson to pickoff his second runner of the game.
Manzanares’ bouncing ball tied up the shortstop and the error allowed him to reach first. Diaz slapped a ground ball seemed to have eyes as it went between the first and second basemen as well as the right and center fielders and rolled to the fence. Diaz zipped around the bases all the way to third base. Manzanares scored from first base to cut the Bobcat lead to 4-2.
Elizalde helped his own cause with a double to right field that scored Diaz easily. Clarkson tied the hands of the pitcher with a ground ball back up the middle and Elizalde moved to third. Clarkson was allowed to advance to second with no throw to put Mules an second and third.
Rejino sent a ground ball single to left field that scored both Elizalde and Clarkson to put the Mules in front to stay 5-4.
Elizalde picked off a third runner in the top of the fifth inning when he threw behind the runner to Campos at third base. Campos pursued the Bobcat before throwing home to Smith to apply the tag and end Dimmitt’s final scoring threat.
Clarkson took over on the mound to start the top of the seventh inning and Oscar Ontiveros took over first base. Clarkson got the first batter he faced to swing at a third strike. The second batter went down looking. Clarkson fielded a bunt and made the throw to Ontiveros for the final out of the game.
Elizalde struck out four batters, walked one, hit two with pitches and gave up four runs on six hits. The Mules committed one error.
The Mules five runs came on seven hits and had one hit by a pitch. The Mules left six men on base and Dimmitt committed five errors.
The Mules hosted Abernathy Tuesday to start the second round of district and then travel to Tulia to play the Hornets Saturday at noon. The Mules return home April 15 to host Littlefield at 7:00 PM.