The Minarets High School baseball team (13-8-1, 5-2 West Sequoia League) did its part in honoring the military last week, earning a 5-4 victory over the league-leading Fowler Redcats (15-8-1, 7-1 WSL) May 3 during a military appreciation game.
Freshman Aaron Hall and his mother arranged the event, which included a l tri-tip meal for veterans in attendance. The event started with the Mustangs equestrian team presenting colors on horseback. Veterans from all military branches were present as flags flew above the field.
Flags flown in battle were presented to e school principle Daniel Ching in a pre-game ceremony that included Hall’s father speaking to the crowd, through a pre-recorded address while stationed overseas.
Lt. Col. David Hall has been an active at Minarets, coaching football for five years. His older son Grant Hall, a 2015 graduate, is enrolled at West Point. The Hall family has been a driving force behind the military presence at Minarets. Grant put up a permanent flag pole at the football field as his Senior Legacy Project.
Besting the Redcats
With their backs to the wall, the Mustangs found themselves in a showdown as the Redcats sit in the league drivers seat.
Fowler beat the Mustangs in their April 12 meeting 4-2, but on their home field the Mustangs held on to a 5-4 victory. The Mustangs “ace” Riley Hillerman earned the win with six innings pitched, while surrendering two earned runs.
Fowler was 6-0 in league entering the game.
The Mustangs opened the seventh inning (ahead 5-4) with a stellar defensive play by Brenden Bourdet, snatching a screaming line drive at first base for the first out. Christian Low recorded the second out catching a line drive in center. Back to back errors at shortstop gave the Redcats a runner in scoring position. Relief pitcher Tyler Painter recorded the save with a strikeout to give Minarets the victory.
Minarets will need some help from the rest of the WSL as they still trail the Redcats. The Mustangs need either Fresno Christian or Caruthers to beat Fowler in the final week of league play for them to claim a share of the league title. Win or lose, the Mustangs are playing some of the best ball of the season for coach Jesse Darrah in his first year as head coach.
“I like our approach at the plate today,” Darrah said. “Our guys were aggressive and played to their strengths. Tyler Painter stepped up in a big game for us on the mound. This team is coming together at the right time to make a run at this thing.”
Minarets will end the season with a make up game against Parlier, and a home game against Fresno Christian Friday. .