By Frank Smith
The San Manuel Miners varsity baseball team took a couple of tough losses last week as they came up short by one run to the Bearcats and one run short to the Yellow Jackets, as the Miners would come from behind in the late innings only to fall short.
The Miners traveled to Ray on April 11 taking the loss 8 – 7 in a very close game.
San Manuel scored one run the sixth inning and six runs in the top of the seventh inning to take the lead at 7 – 6. Ray scored three runs in the third inning, three runs in the fifth, and two runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning to win the ball game 8 – 7.
On the mound for the Miners was Anthony Garcia with T.J Brown catching and Bryan Valdez coming in to relieve, Valdez took the loss.
Offensively, John Ruiz went 2 for 4 with a home run and a run scored, Bryan Valdez went 2 for 4 with a run scored, Anthony Garcia went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored, while T.J Brown went 1 for 4 with a double and a run scored.
“We played a better defensive game today and did not make many errors,” said head coach Steve Elmore. “However, Ray is a good team and we waited to long for our bats to start working. We need to be able to hit throughout the entire game and have timely hitting when people are on base and in scoring position.”
The Miners then came home and hosted the Yellow Jackets from Tombstone on April 12, taking another close loss in extras with the Miners going nine innings.
The Miners scored one run in the third inning and three runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning to tie up the game at 4 – 4, sending it into extra innings. The Yellow Jackets scored two runs in the second inning, two runs in the fourth inning to take a 4 – 1 lead, but they would battle back to tie it up later in the seventh inning.
The Yellow Jackets then scored the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth inning. The Miners had a chance in the bottom of the ninth to tie up the game and potentially win, as they had a runner at second base. The ball was hit with two outs and one runner on, but it was called foul and the batter was later called out on strikes to end the game with Tombstone ahead 5 – 4.
On the mound was John Ruiz with T.J Brown catching and Shane Kelly coming in for relief. Ruiz took the loss.
Offensively, Kelly went 3 for 5 with a run scored, Ruiz went 3 for 5 with a triple and an RBI, Demetrious Dietz went 3 for 4 and T.J Brown went 2 for 4.
“We played hard but did not have timely hitting when we had runners in scoring position,” Elmore said. “We had to leave 10 runners on base or make a base running mistake that lead to an out. We need to be able to put together a complete game where we field the ball cleanly and hit the ball from the top of the order to the bottom. We can be a very good team heading into the tournament if the seniors lead the team like I know they can.”
The Miners made a trip over to Pusch Ridge on Tuesday to take on the Lions and will return home to host the Vandals from Miami on Friday with the first pitch slated for 2 p.m.