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June 15, 2021

Baseball | Salinas Valley teams split contests with foes

SALINAS VALLEY — Playing against the Monterey Toreadores was a challenge for the baseball teams from Soledad and King City high schools, while Gonzales High beat the Robert Louis Stevenson Pirates at home last week.

The Aztecs lost in their first game of the week at home to the Toreadores, and the Mustangs lost on Saturday in Monterey. Soledad came back to beat the Toreadores at Sollecito Park in Monterey.

In the April 28 game in Soledad, the Toreadores defeated the Aztecs by a 13-2 score. Jesse Farfan was the starting pitcher and was credited with the loss. Farfan, Jorge Olivarria, Eric Segura and Daniel Raso all added a hit in a largely anemic game for the Aztecs all around.

“We need to throw more strikes to give ourselves and the defense a chance to get outs,” said Soledad head coach Damian Ryan. “When you walk a lot of batters, you’re bound to give up a big hit and the game is bound to get away from you.”

The Aztecs bounced back for a 5-3 win the next day in Monterey. Segura pitched five innings with 10 strikeouts for the no-decision.

Andrew Nichols came in for the last two innings and secured the win for the Aztecs. Fabian Cabrera led the team with two hits, but the biggest hit might’ve been Dominic Chavez’s two RBI doubles in the seventh to put the Aztecs ahead, 5-2. A huge sacrifice bunt by pinch-hitter Jordan Reyes helped get base runner in scoring position for Chavez.

“Eric (Segura) pitched a heck of a game and should’ve had a lot more strikeouts, but we’re very happy with how he worked low in the zone and continually got hitters out on the front foot,” Ryan said. “When I look back at the game, I’m really impressed with how hard Jordan Reyes worked in practice and when we called on him, when we needed him the most for the team, he was able to produce.”

King City had a .500 record last week as they won by a convincing 20-2 score against the Greenfield Bruins and then lost by a 14-3 score to the Monterey Toreadores.

Mustangs head coach Lorenzo Espino praised his teams for their offensive showing against the Bruins on April 27 in Greenfield.

“We played well, scoring early in the first with five runs and four in the second,” Espino said. “Manuel Ochoa led us with three hits and five RBIs, Eli Clavijo had three hits and Jonah Mendez finished with three RBIs. Ryland Hindersheid had three hits and three RBIs and a triple. We played good defense in very windy conditions.”

Against Monterey, the Mustangs were unable to keep up with the Toreadores offensively in the game that was played at Sollecito Park.

“We lost 14-3,” Espino said. “We didn’t show up. Ryland Hindersheid had a good game going three for three.”

Gonzales High played its first and only game of the week last Tuesday, beating the Robert Louis Stevenson Pirates at home by a 14-8 score. Nate Dixon was the winning pitcher for the Spartans, striking out eight batters and allowing just three walks while throwing a complete game. Leading hitters for Gonzales were Diego Valdez (3×5), Sebastian Sanchez (3×5) and Gabriel Mendez (a triple and two singles and four RBIs).

“We outscored RLS by six runs in the sixth inning to secure the win,” said Gonzales head coach Mario Mottu. “Just a few weeks ago we had just seven players, but now we are up to 22 players and we will be able to field a JV team against some of the teams in our division.”

Gonzales played North Monterey County in Castroville on Tuesday and hosted King City on Thursday. The Mustangs played at Soledad on Tuesday, and the Aztecs began the week with a game on the road against the Carmel Padres.

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