The Natalia Mustangs (7-5) continued their non-district slate of games, as they were able to pick up a home win last Tuesday night at home vs. Cotulla before battling in a two day Pearsall Tournament. The Stangs were only able to snag one victory in four tries in Frio County, dropping heart-breaking losses to Dilley and Pearsall.
Although this game never seemed to be threatened by the visiting Cowboys, Cotulla was able to cut the Natalia lead down to 9-7 in the top of the 4th as the Cowboys worked of three singles, two walks and a fielder’s choice to score four big runs.
Natalia put the game away in the bottom of the 5th inning. Natalia used a Dustin Richardson walk, a Wyatt Woodson hit by a pitch, an error put into play by AJ Felker, a single by Matt Contreras, a single by Jeramiah Castro, a walk by Uriel Arellano and a SAC bunt by Diego Zapata to score eight huge runs fueling the Stangs to a 17-7 run rule victory.
Natalia finished the game with six hits offensively compared to five by Cotulla. The difference was defensive errors, as Cotulla had 10 compared to three by Natalia.
On the mound– Peter Billalobos pitched 2.0, allowed one hit, two runs, struck out one and walked five. Zapata pitched 2.0, allowed four hits, five runs (3 earned), struck out one and walked two. Castro pitched 1.0, allowed no hits and no runs.
At bat– Felker 1-3-2runs scored-1RBI, Contreras 1-4-1run scored-3RBIs, Castro 1-3-2runs scored-1RBI, Arellano 1-2-1run scored-1RBI, Zapata 0-4, Paul Almandarez 0-0-1run scored, Cade Fregia 1-1-2runs scored-1RBI, Isaiah Gomez 2-3-2runs scored, Matt Billalobos 0-0-1RBI, Richardson 0-0-3runs scored-1RBI, Woodson 2-2-3runs scored-2RBIs.
The Mustangs opened the tournament on Thursday am as they battled the 5A Southside Cardinals. Natalia was able to out-hit Southside 7-4 and take advantage of eight defensive errors by the boys in red en route to an 8-2 victory.
Seven of the eight runs for Natalia came in the 3rd inning thanks to a M. Billalobos single, a Felker fielder’s choice, a single by Contreras, an error put into play by Castro, a walk by Fregia, and errors put into play by Woodson and P. Billalobos.
On the mound– Contreras pitched 7.0, allowed four hits, two runs, struck out one and walked one.
At bat: Felker 0-4-1run scored-1RBI, Contreras 0-4-1run scored, Castro 1-4-1run scored-2RBIs, Gomez 0-3, Fregia 0-2-1run scored, Woodson 1-3-1run scored-1RBI, P. Billalobos 2-4-1run scored, M. Billalobos 2-4-1run scored, Fabian Ruiz 2-3-1run scored-1RBI.
Natalia lost a heart-breaker Thursday morning vs. former district rival Dilley who will join the Stangs in their district again next season.
Despite out-hitting the Wolves 9-4, missed opportunities and five defensive errors proved costly in a 5-4 loss.
After watching the game go tied into the 7th, Dilley used a walk, a SAC bunt and a fielder’s choice to score the go ahead run.
On the mound– Castro pitched 6.0, allowed four hits, five runs (three earned), struck out eight and walked two. Gomez pitched 1.0, struck out one and allowed two walks.
At bat– Felker 2-5-1run scored, Contreras 1-5-2runs scored, Castro 2-4, Gomez 0-4-1RBI, Fregia 2-3-1run scored-2RBIs, Woodson 0-3, P. Billalobos 0-4-1RBI, Saul Valadez 0-0, M. Billalobos 1-4 and Ruiz 0-3.
Saturday afternoon, the Pleasanton Eagles kept Natalia on their toes from start to finish and truly kept them off-balance offensively. Natalia was edged 7-5 offensively, as the boys in blue only scored a pair of runs.
After two scoreless innings, Pleasanton got a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 3rd thanks to a walk, an error and a double.
Natalia got their first run of the game in the bottom of the 5th. Natalia used a Woodson base on balls, a Felker single and a ground out by Contreras to cut into the lead.
Pleasanton took charge scoring four runs in the bottom of the5th to take a 6-1 lead on Natalia.
The Mustangs scored their final run in the top of the 6th thanks to an error put into play by Zapata, a stolen base and a single by Gomez.
Unfortunately Pleasanton held on for a 6-2 victory over the Stangs.
On the mound– Gomez pitched 6.0, allowed seven hits, six runs (four earned) and walked three.
At bat– Felker 2-3, Contreras 0-4, Castro 0-4, Arellano 0-2, Zapata 1-3-1run scored, Fregia 0-2, Gomez 1-3-1RBI, P. Billalobos 0-2 and Woodson 1-2-1run scored.
The final game of the tournament was before a full house Saturday night as Natalia battled the host Mavericks. Natalia stayed right with the home squad from start to almost finish, until Pearsall’s C. Martinez pulled off a stunning finish.
Natalia struck first in the opening at bat, as they used a Contreras single, a stolen base and an error put into play by Woodson to give the Stangs the early lead. This lead stood until the bottom of the 6th when Pearsall used a hit batter, a SAC bunt and a single by Morales to tie the game.
Natalia scored their final run in the7th, as they used a Castro single, an error put into play by Arellano and a SAC fly by Fregia to give Natalia a 2-1 lead.
Pearsall was able to load the bases in the bottom of the 7th, as they used a walk, an error, a single and a walk setting the stage for a huge moment. This is when Ramirez blasted a walk off grand-slam over the left field fence to defeat Natalia 6-2.
Pearsall finished the game with a 7-3 offensive edge in the hit category.
On the mound– Zapata pitched 6.1, allowed seven hits, six runs (five earned), struck out six and walked two.
At bat– Felker 0-2, Contreras 1-4-1run scored, Castro 2-4-1run scored, Arellano 0-2, Woodson 0-4, Fregia 0-3-1RBI, Gomez 0-3, Ruiz 0-2 and Zapata 0-3.
Natalia will host the Poteet Aggies this coming Friday at 1:30 p.m. in a non-district battle.
On Tuesday, March 20th the Stangs travel to Zavala County to battle the LaPryor Bulldogs in their final non-district game of the season on the road at 7:00 p.m.
By Eric Smith