Miscues prove costly versus District-leading Poth

An inconsistent approach on both the offensive and defensive side of the field proved costly for the Natalia Mustangs versus 26-3A district leading Poth. Although the Pirates finished the April 4th district battle with a one hit advantage versus Natalia, they finished the night with a three-run edge.
“We couldn’t put together a solid defensive game and Poth capitalized on our mistakes,” Coach Philip Martinez said. “They were very aggressive on the bases and that gave us trouble at times.”
The Mustangs gave the ball to start the contest to Rey Garza who pitched 5.0 innings in the contest. He allowed six hits, struck out four, walked four and gave up seven runs, two of which were earned.
Jeramiah Castro rounded things out for Natalia on the mound, as he pitched 1.0, allowed 0 hits, walked 0 and struck out one.
Poth struck offensively in their first two at bats. In the 1st inning, the Pirates used a base on balls, a passed ball, a stolen base and another passed ball to score.
In the top of the 2nd, Natalia tied things early, thanks to a Nathan Vasquez base on balls and a single by Gabe Figueroa.
The Pirates added to the lead in the 2nd, using another walk, an error and another passed ball to their advantage giving them a quick 3-1 lead thanks to sloppy play by the boys in blue.
The Stangs cut into the home team’s lead in the top of the 3rd, scoring their second run on a double by Manuel Saldana and an error put into play by Alex Valdez.
Poth responded with a big 3rd inning. The gold and blue boys from Wilson County produced a three-run inning, courtesy of two singles, one double and an error allowing them to extend their lead to 6-2 on the Mustangs.
The Stangs scored their final runs in the top of the 4th. Natalia used a Castro single, an Anton Felker single and an error put into play by Dustin Richardson to get within a 6-4 game of the Pirates.
Poth did their final damage in the bottom of the 4th, scoring one final run on a two-out rally thanks to a pair of singles giving them the 7-4 lead which would hold when all was said and done.
“Offensively, we didn’t execute on a few situations that may have a difference in the ball game as well,” Martinez said.“We have to be able to understand the situations better and let the bat do the work.”
The Poth Pirates finished the game with a 6-5 hitting advantage offensively as both squads finished the game with three defensive errors each.
At Bat: Garza 0-3, Figueroa 1-3, Saldana 2-4-1run scored, Castro 1-3-1run scored, Felker 1-3-1RBI-1run scored, Gomez 0-2, Trevino 0-1, Vasquez 0-2-1run scored, Valdez 0-3 and Richardson 0-3.
Defensive Put-Outs: Figueroa 6, Valdez 4, Richardson 2, Gomez 2, Vasquez 1 and Garza 1.
Assists: Figueroa 2, Hernandez 1, Vasquez 1, Garza 1.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer