Coming into last week the Minarets Mustangs baseball team (6-3-1), was frustrated with a 2-3 record, including close losses to Kingsburg, Liberty and Sierra.
On March 10, Riley Hillerman took the mound for the Mustangs against Mendota pitching seven scoreless innings as the Mustangs played to a 0-0 tie after 11 innings. Hillerman did a great job moving the ball in and out while keeping the Aztec batters off balance.
Minarets out hit Mendota 5-3 but was unable to get a run across.
Great defensive plays filled the game, with diving, run-saving plays by both squads. Several times both teams had the go-ahead run 90 feet away, only to have an infielder or outfielder make a great play to end the threat.
On March 15, the Mustangs beat Lindsay 7-1.
Freshman lefty Aaron Hall pitched six innings, giving up just two hits while recording 10 strikeouts.
Senior Christian Low came in to pitch in the seventh inning, striking out the side to end the game.
Mustang leadoff hitter Hayden Alford was 2 for 3 on the game including a double, and Drew Robertson also went 2 for 3.
It would be the first win on a very successful week that saw the Mustangs run off four consecutive wins in five days.
The Mustangs hosted D-III Hoover March 16, with Minarets erupting for 14 runs against Hoover’s four.
Hillerman took over where he left off from Mendota, spreading five hits and two runs over five innings, while striking out five. Christian Conti relieved the final two innings, giving up two runs after walking two.
The Mustangs collected 16 hits in the game as Alford, Andrew Carrick, and catcher Connor Reardon, each had two hits, including a double by Reardon. Hunter Thompson, Alford, Conti, and Reardon had two RBIs each.
On March 18, the Mustangs defeated Dos Palos 7-4. It was the Mustangs’ third game in as many days.
Going in to the seventh inning Minarets Low walked to the plate with two outs and runners at second and third and the game tied at four each. He then hit a fastball over the left field fence for his first home run of his career, giving the Mustangs the 7-4 win.
The Mustangs had six hits to go with Low’s bomb and his three RBIs. Conti went 2 for 2 adding an RBI. Reardon and E.G. Walden added RBIs.
Alford and Thompson shared duties on the mound, with Alford pitching three innings, giving up five hits and four runs, while striking out three. Thompson pitched four innings and earned the win, surrendering two hits while striking out two.
The Mustangs continued the win streak on March 19, beating Pacheco High 7-1.
Minarets played near flawless ball, squeezing two runs home on bunts and coming through with clutch hits with runners in scoring position.
Low started on the mound and worked four innings and Thompson relieved to record the save.
The Mustangs are playing in the Selma Easter Classic this week, playing five games in three days, including two double-headers. The team opened the tourney Monday against Immanuel.
“We are pleased with our play to this point ... we started off a little slow but have been improving every game,” said Coach Jesse Darrah. “Our goal is a league championship, and I think we have a chance to accomplish that if we continue to get better.”