Tigers score 27 total runs as they go 2-0 in District action
By Jacob Chavarria
Tiger baseball was able to get their first back-to-back wins of the season during their second week of District play.
These wins came with a total of 27 runs being produced by the Slaton offense.
They started out the week by traveling to Idalou as they took on the Wildcats in a Tuesday evening (March 30) offensive slugfest. The Tigers were able to defend a late comeback by Idalou and pulled out a high scoring 14-13 win.
Another quality pitching performance by the Tiger staff and early run production proved to be helpful in the Tigers first District win of the season.
Eli Perez received the start and went 5-1/3 innings as pitch count became a factor and was relieved by both Eli Martinez and then CJ Anzley.
The sixth inning was hard for the Tigers to find a way to get outs, as errors started to affect the Tigers and some timely hitting helped get the Wildcats within one heading into the seventh inning giving Slaton an 12-11 lead.
Like they had done for most of the game the Tiger offense were able to find a way to get runners across and scored two runs in the top of the seventh.
Offensively, the Tigers got hot and were able to produce runs early getting three in the first and second inning. With production from everyone in the lineup, Eli Martinez was able to get five RBIs to his name and two of them coming off of a two-run homerun shot to left field in the top of the fifth.
With a strong push from the Wildcats, Slaton showed poise in the seventh behind Zephron Ortiz who came in to close out the game. With runners on he got a ground out to Josh Chavarin for a 4-3 putout to seal the win.
Head Coach Dilon Chancellor said a lack of focus was a factor for the late errors, but the offensive performance helped in sealing the win.
“That starts from a lack of focus. That’s something we talked heavy on after the game,” he said. “When you play against a good quality team like our district, you can’t allow that many errors and expect to go out there and win a ballgame, but we produced offensively enough that night to put us in position to win that game.”
That momentum carried on into Friday’s (April 2) contest against the Roosevelt Eagles where the Tigers picked up a big 13-1 win in five innings.
Matt Vigil gathered 11 strikeouts and one hit as Trent Wright came in relief to keep the Eagles down and the Tigers in control.
It was another big day for Martinez, who blasted two homeruns in the contest and kept the Tigers rolling offensively.
“Just the team as a whole, 27 runs in two games. That’s hard to do in District play and I believe our sticks are where we want them to be,” said Chancellor.
Chancellor touched on how his team has worked to stay the course despite some struggles. “It’s about those kids, and that’s why we do what we do. Those kids have stayed the course and they’ve stayed true to the program and focused on their goals and missions. Hats off to those kids for continuing to buy in,” he said.
The Tigers will get back and hope to continue their hot offensive performance as they take on Abernathy on April 6 and then host Childress on Saturday (April 10).
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Softball splits District games against Childress, Idalou
By Melissa McCaghren
The Tigerette softball team got off onto a slightly shaky foot in round two of District matches, splitting their games against Childress and Idalou.
The team defeated the Childress 15-5 in five innings and lost to Idalou 11-8 in seven innings.
Coach Brandon Langston said the team came right out of the gate scoring fast against Childress. “Childress we came out and scored from the get go, scoring three runs in the first and second innings, then five in the fourth and four in the fifth to end it,” he said. “Childress scored two in the third and fourth and then one in the fifth.”
He said though the game was run-ruled, he said that Childress was also a strong team, making them adapt.
In the game, Adrianna Zapata-Martinez pitched five innings, giving up five runs and had two strikeouts.
Offensively, Jaclyn Loera came in big going 3-3 with two doubles, two RBIs, and a run scored.
Justyne Zapata was 3-4 with a homerun, three RBIs, and two runs.
Samantha Gatica was 2-4 with two runs and one RBI and Nana Anzley was 1-4 with two RBIs.
In the game against Idalou however, mistakes factored into the team’s loss. “We made a couple of mistakes in the first inning and gave up four runs, they scored one in the third, three in the fourth, one in the fifth, (and) two in the sixth. We battled scoring three in the third and five in the sixth,” said Langston.
The Tigerettes also scored three runs in the first and second innings, then five in the fourth to round out the scoring.
Adrianna Zapata Martinez pitched seven innings, giving up five earned runs, and striking out five.
Nata Soto was 2-4 with a single, double, one RBI and one run. Madi Englund was 2-4 with two RBI, Nana Anzley was 1-3 with a run and two RBIs, and Chloe Griffith was 2-3 with 2 RBIs and a run.
“We hit the ball well against a good pitcher, eight different players scored a run, so we had everyone working and getting on base. Our bats are starting to come around and we have a deep lineup that can put up runs on anybody,” he said. “We just did not play very well defensively, tough wind on Friday, but dropped some balls that we expect to catch, anytime you have seven errors defensively against a good team you usually do not come out on the winning end.”
In both games, there were several big plays, said Langston.
“Our defense has made a bunch of big plays, Madi Englund snagged a ground ball, tagged the runner at (third base) and threw to 1st for a double play, Samantha Gatica made a big running catch in the outfield. Erica Brooks made a good sliding catch with two outs after I walked a girl intentionally to load the bases,” he said.
“Our outfield is probably the best defensive outfield we have had in the six years I have been here. We make a lot of really good defensive plays but have to limit the errors on routine plays.”
Now, they continue their quest for the playoffs, facing Shallowater Tuesday (April 6) and Roosevelt Saturday.
Langston said the upcoming games will be tough however. “Anytime you’re in a tough District like we are, you always gotta win the home games and steal a couple on the road,” he said, especially as the teams are close in the standings. “We have Shallowater, Abernathy, and Childress who are all tied for third currently at home so we will need to go on the road this next round and get a couple of big wins at their place to solidify a playoff spot.”
Still, the Fillies will be a tough match, as well as the Lady Eagles. “Shallowater is a tough team, we did not hit the ball real well most of the first round of District and beat them 5-3 last time. Having to go on the road is always tough but I feel we are hitting the ball a lot better these last two weeks then we were early on so hopefully we can jump out on them and put some runs on the board against them. They are one of the other playoff teams I feel in our District and so we will have to show up ready to play,” he said. “Saturday against Roosevelt, we need to make sure and show up and just do what we do and focus on us. Roosevelt hasn’t won a District game yet but have been a run or two away from beating several teams, including Abernathy and Shallowater so they are a dangerous team that can not be over looked.
“We have to bounce back and get ready for a tough Shallowater team and refocus after losing to Idalou. I think our girls are starting to really swing the bat well and building confidence on the offensive side. Our bats are huge for us and kind of where we get our spark and energy from the last couple of years and so hopefully we can continue hitting the ball well and put some runs on the board.”