The Natalia Mustangs rounded out 30-3A action last week at home against the Cotulla Cowboys. Despite a strong 1st inning in which the Stangs outscored the Cowboys 6-0, things fell apart on the mound and defensively which turned into a long night at Mustang Field.
Cotulla rallied past Natalia, out-hitting the Mustangs 15-10, forcing two additional errors on the Natalia defense en route to a big 16-10 come-back victory.
The Stangs came out strong defensively, as they shut-down the Cowboys 1-2-3 to start off this crucial game in which Natalia needed to win in order to have a shot at 3rd place.
Natalia responded with a big 1st inning offensively. Natalia used an AJ Felker base on balls, an error put into play by Matt Contreras, a base on balls by Uriel Arellano, a single by Manuel Garcia, a base on balls by Diego Zapata, a base on balls by Fabian Ruiz, a base on balls by Jeremiah Gomez and another walk by Matt Billalobos to score six big runs.
Cotulla responded with a four run 2nd inning and this was just the start. The Cowboys outscored Natalia 4-1 in the inning, before a gut-wrenching 11-0 advantage in the 4th en route to the 16-10 win over Natalia.
Garcia pitched the first 3.0 innings in the loss vs Cotulla. He allowed 5 hits, walked 5, struck out 2 and allowed 8 runs, 7 of which were earned.
Zapata took over and pitched 4.0, allowed 10 hits, struck out 5, allowed 8 earned runs.
At bat: Zapata 0-2-1run scored, Austin Salas 0-1, Garcia 4-5-1RBI-1run scored, Castro 2-5-3RBIs-1run scored, Contreras 1-3-1run scored, Felker 0-2-1RBI-2runs scored, Billalobos 1-3-1run scored, Jake Navarro 0-0-1run scored, Arellano 0-3-1run scored, Ruiz 1-3-1run scored and Gomez 0-2.
Defensive Put-Outs: Garcia 6, Zapata 4, Garcia 3, Felker 2, Gavin Martinez 2, Arellano 2, Castro 1, Gomez 1.
Assists: Gomez 2, Zapata 1, Garcia 1, Castro 1, Martinez 1, Arellano 1.
Pleasanton out-works Natalia
Last Friday night, the 4th seed Mustangs met up with a Class 4A seed Pleasanton Eagles who had more ups then downs this season.
Natalia had a bit of a disappointing outing, as they fell to the Eagles 10-3.
Natalia was out-hit 13-6 and had two defensive errors in the 7-inning loss.
Castro pitched 3.0, allowed 8 hits, walked 1 and struck out 4, giving up 7 runs, all of which were earned. Contreras pitched 3.0, allowed 5 hits, walked 0, struck out 1 and allowed 3 runs, 0 of which were earned.
At bat: Zapata 0-2, Garcia 1-3, Castro 1-3-1run scored, Contreras 1-3-1run scored, Felker 1-4, Billalobos 0-3-1run scored, Arellano 1-4-2RBIs, Ruiz 1-2, Gomez 0-3.
Defensive Put-Outs: Zapata 5, Arellano 4, Felker 3, Castro 2, Contreras 2, Garcia 1, Ruiz 1. Assists: Contreras 2, Felker 1, Martinez 1, Castro 1, Garcia 1.
Bi-District Playoff Thursday vs 29-3A Champ Goliad
The Natalia Mustangs will battle the District 29-3A Champion Goliad Tigers (15-9-1, 11-1) this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. in Jourdanton. This will be the first known meeting between Goliad and Natalia in a baseball playoff game.
Goliad’s only district loss this season was to Aransas Pass whom they split with.
Not is known about the Tigers, except for the fact they are a very aggressive ball club led by two talented young men on the hill.
Natalia will have to find a way to hold on, during this one game winner takes all series.
Anything is possible when you battle one time on the diamond, so head to Jourdanton this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. for this Bi-District battle.
By Eric Smith