Natalia baseball opens season with a full week of action

Mustang baseball players Joseph Blanquiz, Uriel Arellano, Diego Zapata, and Manuel Garcia were named to the Charlotte All-Tournament Team.

The Natalia Mustangs began their 2020 season last week, as they competed in a total of five non-district games within the week of play. After suffering a tough loss to a solid Johnson City team in the season opener, the Stangs were able to finish the Charlotte Tournament winning three out of four games.
“I could not be more proud of the way we performed,” Coach Kasey Crowther said when referencing the Charlotte Tournament.
The season started off with a long night in Johnson City, as the Eagles whipped the Stangs 19-0 in a four-inning victory. Johnson City out-hit Natalia 23-1 and forced six additional errors on the Natalia defense.
Wyatt Owens accounted for the lone hit for Natalia, as Natalia used the efforts of four different pitchers to try and slow down the Eagles.
In Charlotte, Randolph was able to knock off the Stangs 8-3 in the tourney opener. Randolph out-hit 9-5 and forced 3 additional errors on the Mustang defense.
Five different players accounted for singles in the loss including Gavin Martinez, Manuel Garcia, Uriel Arellano, Diego Zapata and Jake Navarro.
Zapata and Joseph Blanquiz both saw time on the mound for the Stangs.
The Mustangs picked up win #1 of the season in their next game last Friday vs. the Woodsboro Eagles. Natalia out-hit Woodsboro 7-5 and forced 5 additional errors on their defense en route to a 15-3 victory. Manuel Garcia led the offense with 3 hits, as Fabian Ruiz and Saul Valadez added two hits each.
Chris Saldana and Michael Martinez both saw time on the mound for the boys in blue.
Saturday, Natalia began tourney play with a victory over the host squad Charlotte by a score of 7-2. Natalia out-hit the Trojans 12-7 as both teams played solid defense with 0 errors.
Uriel Arellano led the offense with 3 hits, as Navarro added 2 in the win. No pitching stats were available.
The final game of the tourney was against the Pettus Eagles. The Stangs knocked off the Eagles 4-1 to finish the tournament with their third straight win.
Natalia out-hit the Bee County squad 11-5. Zapata, Arellano, Ruiz, Blanquiz and Garcia accounted for the singles.
Jeremiah Gomez picked up the win on the mound for the boys in blue.
All-Tournament: Natalia’s Joseph Blanquiz, Uriel Arellano, Diego Zapata and Manuel garcia were named to All-Tournament in Charlotte.
Upcoming Games
Natalia will battle in the Edgewood Tournament this coming weekend. Natalia will face Edison on Thursday at 11:00 a.m. and Roma at 7:00 p.m. Other teams in the tournament include Sam Houston, Kennedy, Jefferson, John Jay, Laredo Martin, Laredo Nixon, Cole, Stockdale and Memorial.
Depending on how Natalia does in their two pool games will determine where they are placed in bracket play on Friday and Saturday.
Tuesday, March 10th Natalia will battle Carrizo Springs in a 1:00 p.m. afternoon game as Spring Break 2020 gets underway.
By Eric Smith
Staff Writer