Mule Baseball vs. Littlefield, Olton & Dimmitt (4-17,19 & 21-14)
The Mule baseball team clinched second place in the District 2-A race with wins over Littlefield, Olton and Dimmitt to close out the regular season. In the first trip through district the Mules were down with just one win and three losses and still faced the Dimmitt Bobcats.
The Mules defeated Dimmitt 5-4 to help their record to 2-3 after one loop of district. The Mules then won their next five games to defeat all the teams in the district and complete a six-game winning streak to claim sole possession of second place.
Nacho Elizalde got the win against Littlefield to improve the Mules to 5-3. He gave up two runs and scattered six hits. Littlefield left six on base. Elizalde struck out six before turning the mound over to Wesley Clarkson. Clarkson took the hill with the Mules leading 5-2 with a Wildcat on second base and nobody out.
Fortunately for the Mules Clarkson took a fire extinguisher to the mound with him and dowsed the Wildcat fire. He struck out the first batter he faced and got he second batter to fly out to Elizalde in center field. The next batter went down swinging and the Mules were out of inning and still holding the 5-2 lead.
Clarkson finished the game with ground out to Matt Barron at short stop, a pop fly to Dustin Smith behind the plate and a second ground out to Barron. The win extended the Mules winning streak to four games.
The Mules continued their winning ways by defeating the Olton Mustangs 9-0. Clarkson pitched a complete game, struck out five, walked one and gave up eight hits. The Mules recorded just one error and the Mustangs stranded seven on base.
Smith threw out a runner attempting to steal second base with a perfect throw to Barron covering second. Olton only had one runner to reach third base. He slammed a one-out double to left field and was sacrificed to third. A ground to Nathan Rejino at second ended the game.
Barron had doubled to start the bottom of the first inning and stole third base. Smith was hit by a pitch and stole second base when Barron stole third. Jesus Manzanares ground ball single to left scored both Barron and Smith to put the Mules on top 2-0.
The Mules sent nine to the plate in the second inning and scored five runs. Clarkson blasted a leadoff double to right-center field. Barron scored Clarkson with a single to left field. Barron stole second and scored when Rejino doubled off the fence in left field.
Beto Diaz reached on an error by the shortstop and Rejino scored on the error. Smith was hit by a pitch for the second time during the game. Manzanares singled to left field and the fielder was lax in getting the ball back to the infield and Diaz and Smith both scored on the fielding error. The Mules led 7-0 after two innings.
Clarkson scored a run in the third inning and Manzanares added the final Mule run in the fourth inning.
The Mules traveled to Dimmitt for the two teams final game of the regular season Monday afternoon. Danny Campos was tapped by Mule baseball coach Wes Boatmun as the starting pitcher. Campos pitched four innings and gave up just one run. He struck out four, gave up two hits and the Mules committed one error.
Elizalde took over in relief, struck out two, gave up one hit and hit two batters in the bottom of the seventh inning. The Mules rattled the Dimmitt hurler in the top of the sixth inning.
Grey Johnson drew a walk, went to second on a wild pitch and to third base on an error by the second baseman. Clarkson struck out but the catcher missed the pitch and Clarkson beat the throw to first base. Barron singled to left center to score both Johnson and Clarkson to give the Mules a 2-1 lead.
Barron was caught attempting to steal second base for the Mules first out. An error on the short stop allowed Rejino to reach first base. Keagan Gonzales pinch ran for Rejino and stole second base. Diaz doubled off the fence in center field to score Gonzales. The Dimmitt reliever balked to score Diaz and end all scoring with the Mules leading 4-1.
Clarkson relieved Elizalde in the bottom of the seventh inning after Elizalde had hit the first two Bobcat batters. Clarkson walked the first batter he faced to load the bases with no outs.
He struck out the second batter he faced and the next flew out to Diaz in left field. The final Bobcat to the plate sent a line drive to near the corner in left field. Diaz got a good read on the ball as it came off the bat. He lowered his head and raced toward the corner.
The ball had just hit the ground when Diaz scooped it up, wheeled and fired the ball to the cutoff man, Barron, in shallow left field. Barron caught and in the same motion fired a strike to Smith at home plate.
One Bobcat had scored from third base but Smith made a sweeping tag on the runner racing home from second base to end the game.
Dimmitt had threatened in the sixth inning with runners at first and second with no outs. A ground ball streaked down the third baseline to Campos. He scooped up the ball, stepped on the bag at third and gunned the ball across the infield to Clarkson at first base to complete the double play. Elizalde struck out the next batter on three straight pitches.
The Mules appear to be scheduled to face the Boys Ranch Roughriders the May second and third. The time and place of the apparent three game series has yet to be announced.