The Minarets Mustangs baseball team (10-8-1, 2-2 West Sequoia League), looking to notch another league win, traveled to Riverdale April 19 to take on the Cowboys, and ended the day with a 12-5 win.
Riverdale has an up and coming program. With a 6-13 record, and 1-4 in WSL, the Cowboys have surpassed their total of two wins from last year.
The Mustangs sent senior Riley Hillerman to the mound. Hillerman has done a great job leading the Mustangs pitching staff but has been the victim of errors from his defense that has cost him some wins on the season.
Minarets scored in the bottom of the second to take a one-run lead early. Riverdale answered back with two runs off Hillerman for a 2-1 lead after two. The Mustangs broke the game open in the third, nearly batting through the order in a five-run explosion.
Feeling the game was well in hand, coach Jesse Darrah pulled his senior and went to the bullpen. The Mustangs added another five runs in the fifth and one more in the sixth. Six Mustang throwers saw action - Tyler Painter, Hunter Thompson, Aaron Hall, Christian Low, and Hayden Alford pitched one inning each in the Mustangs win.
Low delivered at the plate as well as from the mound. The senior had three RBIs to go along with his two hits on the day. Catcher Connor Reardon also had two hits and two RBIs. Brendon Bourdet was 2-for-3 and Hall recorded a double.
“We can’t worry about what other teams records are, we just have to take care of business and take it one game at a time." said Darrah. “If we play the way we are capable of, we should end league with some momentum heading into the playoffs.”
The Mustangs must continue winning if they hope to climb back into league contention. Minarets sits in third place in West Sequoia standings, with league games against both Caruthers and Fowler on the schedule after a makeup game with Fresno Christian. Their April 22 game with the Eagles (7-11, 1-3 WSL) was rescheduled for Monday the 25.
Friday April 29 the Mustangs will host the Caruthers Blue Raiders (12-6-1, 4-1 WSL). Caruthers is in second place in the WSL, one game behind Fowler which is 5-0 in league.
In the clubs’ first meeting April 8 Caruthers beat Minarets 7-5 in a game which could have easily been a Mustangs win, but blunders on the base paths cost the Minarets the victory.
Should the Mustangs come away with a win, they will need another victory May 3 against the Fowler Redcats. Pitching was the difference in the clubs’ first game April 12. The Mustangs loaded the bases, walking the first three batters and surrendered a two-run double in the first inning. It was a defensive battle for much of the next five innings before Minarets put up two runs late, eventually losing 4-2.
Should the Mustangs run the table, they will still need help from Caruthers, as the league title may be decided on the final game of the season with the Blue Raiders playing the Redcats May 13. With a Fowler win, there is a strong possibility of the West Sequoia League title resulting in a three-way tie for first place.