On April 2nd, the Natalia Mustangs struggled in a 30-3A battle in Atascosa County versus the Jourdanton Indians. Natalia fell apart defensively and struggled to be consistent on offense as they fell in a lop-sided 18-8 loss.
Last Thursday at Mustang Field, the Mustangs had a stellar outing defensively, with 0 errors pacing them toward a night of success.
The Stangs were able to out-hit the Indians 9-7 forcing four additional errors on Big Red. As a result, the boys in blue overcame an early 0-2 deficit, to dominate the Tribe in a 12-2 run-rule six inning victory.
“We were solid defensively and we pitched well,” Coach Jeff Terry said. “We took advantage of some situations at the plate and were able to generate some offense.”
Senior Jermiah Castro paced the Stangs on the mound, pitching 6.0 innings, allowing seven hits, walked 0 and struck out three, allowing the two 1st inning earned runs.
J-Town scored their only runs of the game in the 1st inning, thanks to a Schuchart single, a double by Berg and a single by Johnson.
This lead stood until the bottom of the 2nd inning when Natalia began to come alive, courtesy of Jourdanton miscues. Natalia used four walks, hit by a pitch and a single by Manuel Garcia to produce four big runs allowing Natalia to surge ahead in the 30-3A battle.
The Stangs and Indians battled with a number of good plays defensively until Natalia came alive again in the bottom of the 5th.
Natalia used an error put into play by Diego Zapata, a single by Fabian Ruiz, a walk by Matt Billalobos, a single by AJ Felker and a single by Castro to produce four additional runs allowing for an 8-2 lead on the Indians.
Jourdanton stranded two runners in the top of the 6th, before Natalia put the Tribe down to rest.
Natalia used a Garcia single, a fielder’s choice put into play by Zapata, a single by Ruiz, a single by Billalobos and a single by Matt Contreras to score four final runs allowing for a huge 12-2 run-rule victory over the boys from Atascosa County.
“I am proud of the way the kids competed,” Terry said. “The kids have been working hard and that hard work is starting to show results.”
At bat: Zapata 1-3-2runs scored, Garcia 2-3-1RBI-1run scored, Castro 2-3-2RBIs-1run scored, Contreras 0-4, Felker 1-4-2runs scored, Billalobos 1-2-2RBIs-1runs scored, Jake Navarro 0-0-1run scored, Uriel Arellano 0-2, Ruiz 1-3-1RBI-3runs scored and Jeremiah Gomez 0-4.
Defensive Put-Outs: Arellano 8, Zapata 3, Contreras 3, Garcia 2, Gavin Martinez 1, Felker 1. Assists: Garcia 5, Gomez 2, Contreras 2, Castro 1.
Natalia hosted the Cotulla Cowboys on press night in their final regular scheduled 30-3A battle. Natalia needed a win over the Cowboys to force another game for a 3rd place tie-breaker. Stay tuned into twitter for further details on if Natalia won, who and where they will play.
By Eric Smith