Despite outhitting the visiting Boerne Geneva Eagles last week, it was seven defensive errors that proved to be the difference at Mustang Field. As a result, Geneva was able to knock off the Mustangs 6-4 in a 7-inning non-district battle.
“We came out and did some things positive, but had too many errors when it was all said and done,” Coach Jeff Terry said.
Natalia used two pitchers during their loss, as Diego Zapata pitched the first 4.0 innings allowing one hit, walked three, struck out three and allowed five runs, two of which were earned. Manuel Garcia pitched 3.0 innings, as he allowed two hits, walked 0 and struck out four in the contest, giving up one earned run.
After watching two scoreless innings, the Eagles were able to strike first in the top of the 3rd. They used one walk, three errors, a hit by a pitch and a single top score five runs to take a commanding lead versus the Stangs.
Natalia got on the board in the bottom of the 3rd. Natalia used a Fabian Ruiz double, a single by Matt Billalobos and a fielder’s choice by AJ Felker to score Ruiz.
Geneva scored their final run in the top of the 5th, as they used a pair of singles and a passed ball to take a 6-1 lead on Natalia.
The Mustangs chipped away as they scored their 2nd run of the game in the bottom of the 6th. Natalia used a Felker walk, one stolen base, a ground-out and a single by Jermiah Castro to score.
The Stangs didn’t go down without a fight. After shutting down Geneva 1-2-3 in the top of the 7th, the boys in blue went back to work. They used a Uriel Arellano walk, a Diego Zapata single and a double by Billalobos to score two final runs. Unfortunately, the game ended on a strike-out which stranded in the tying runs. Natalia stranded four runners throughout the 7-inning contest.
At bat: Zapata 1-3-1run scored, Garcia 0-3, Saul Valadez 0-0-1run scored, Castro 1-3-1RBI, Matt Contreras 0-4, Felker 0-2-1RBI-1run scored, Billalobos 2-3-1RBI, Arellano 0-2, Ruiz 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Jeremiah Gomez 0-3.
Defensive Put-Outs: Billalobos 4, Zapata 4, Gomez 3, Felker 3, Garcia 3, Contreras 2, Castro 2. Assists: Zapata 2, Garcia 1, Castro 1.
The Natalia Mustangs picked up a 10-0 shut-out road win Friday night versus the Runge Yellow Jackets. There were no stats available as of press time.
This coming Friday, the Stangs travel to the Strawberry Capital to battle the Poteet Aggies at 12:00 and 1:30 p.m. in non-district play.
Natalia’s next game after this Friday will not be until Friday, March 22nd when they battle St. Anthony.
By Eric Smith