Badgers baseball and softball struggle in tournament play

After being shutout by Chowchilla 7-0 onMarch 24, the Yosemite Baseball team (5-7, 1-4 NSL) was one out away from defeating the Washington Union Panthers (5-10, 2-3 NSL) on March 26 - but a two out, seventh inning base hit by the Panthers scored two runs and gave the Panthers a 12-11 victory.

Badger’s starting pitcher Tyler McIntrye struggled in comparison to his last start , giving up six runs in just three innings of work. McIntyre was able to add a bit of run support hitting a three run home run in the first inning.

Yosemite was able to overcome an early deficit tying the game 7-7 in the top of the fifth. Washington came back and scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth making it 9-7.

The Badger bats came alive in the top of the seventh scoring three runs and giving the Badgers a 10-9 lead going into the bottom of the seventh inning.

With Austin Burgeno relieving Frank Lemos in the seventh inning the team looked to hold the one run lead a hang on for the victory. But after the lead-off hitter was hit by a pitch, a fielder’s choice forced the runner out at second and a throwing error advance the runner to second.

With a runner on second and one out the Badgers recorded the second out after a ground out to third and leaving the runner stranded at second. The Badger opted to intentionally walk the next batter who had already recorded two hits and Burgeno then unintentionally hit the next batter loading the bases. Union’s fifth hitter, Cleto Gitierrez then hit a hard ball into right field for a base hit and scored the games winning RBIs.

After the game Badger Coach Bob Siebenberg said he was proud of his team and thought they played well.

“It was a great game against Washington Union,” Siebenberg said. “Our boys hit the ball very well and defensively were pretty sharp. Tyler (McIntyre) struggled a little on the mound early but kept us in the game. He wasn’t as sharp as he was in his previous outings, but he contributed big with a three run home run to keep us moving.

Siebenberg said Frank Lemos, (recently brought up from the JV team) pitched very well in relief and laid down two perfectly executed bunts, each one setting up scoring opportunities that we cashed in on by timely hitting from both McIntyre and sophomore Brandan Gillaspy.

Siebenberg said freshman Luke Howell played with tremendous energy in an infield that had no errors. And his team ran the bases smart and unafraid and kept the pressure on the whole game.

“We were one out away from winning it but it got away,” Siebenberg said. “These boys are getting stronger and more confident every day. They’re a pleasure to coach and watch and I love the way they play.”

The Badger’s woes continued as they lost their first two games of the Easter Classic getting outscored 23-2 this week.

In their first game against Reedley, the Badgers lost 12-2 in six innings of play in which McIntyre went 3-3. In the second game against Fresno the Badgers were defeated 11-0.

The Badger’s continued their play in the Eastern Classic against North Bakersfield on (Tuesday) March 31 and Golden Valley on Wednesday (April 1).

YHS Softball

The Yosemite High School softball team (4-9, 0-0 NSL) hosted the Riverbank Bruins (6-6-1, 2-3 TVL) Thursday, March 26, in a non-conference game.

Coached by Yosemite graduate, Cassi Ross, the Bruins came ready to play jumping out to an early 4-0 lead in the first inning.

The Badgers scored in the bottom of the first after lead-off hitter Amy Whitcomb started the game off with a single to right field. Savannah Rich followed with a sacrifice bunt, moving the runner over to second and following an infield fly to the third, Katie Thompson responded with a two-out single which scored the Badgers first run.

After a shaky first inning Whitcomb showed good poise as she held the Bruins to no runs over the next two innings. Whitcomb received some help from her defense after loading the bases in the third. A sharply hit grounder caused a bad throw for the force at home plate but sophomore catcher Katie Thompson stretched out to force the out at home saving a run and ending the scoring opportunity for the Bruins.

After closing to gap to a two-run deficit the Badgers were unable to keep the game close after the Bruins tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the fourth, eventually defeating Yosemite 9-5.

Following their loss to Riverbank the lady Badgers traveled to Tulare to participate in the Tulare Union High School Tournament. The Badgers finished their five games under .500 going 2-3.

Yosemite kicked off the tournament with a loss against D-II powerhouse Tulare Western, 14-1, followed by a 6-3 loss to Exeter.

After losing their first two games the lady Badgers responded by defeating Orange Cove, 7-3, and dominating Farmersville 17-2, on March 30 Then lost to Golden West, of Visalia, 10-2.

The Badgers open up league play in their next game April 8, at 4 p.m. when they travel to Liberty to take on the Hawks. The Badgers return home April 10, when they host league opponent Kerman.