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Central Section baseball notebook: Memorial and Buchanan use late innings to pull away

Two of Bakersfield’s premier baseball programs made their way to Fresno county on Tuesday as #2 Memorial played host to #6 Stockdale and #3 Buchanan hosted #8 Liberty.

Memorial was first to get things started–a 3:30pm game that featured junior right-hander Josh Castro on the mound for the Panthers. Castro pitched with a lead the entire outing, going a complete game with eight strikeouts in Memorial’s 6-2 victory over the Mustangs.

“I wanted to extend [Josh] today and we wanted this to be the day that he kind of took off” head coach JD Salles said after the game. “We’re getting ready for league and wanted to find out what he could do. He got out of some jams and fought through some errors and threw well.”

After a hitless top of the first inning, Memorial leadoff hitter Mac Dalena belted the second pitch he saw over the left field fence–a fastball slightly up in the zone. Dalena would also add an RBI double later in the game.

“Mac’s a gamer. He started the season off slow, but made some adjustments and shortened his swing up,” Salles said. “We knew it was just a matter of time with him so we didn’t want to mess with him too much.”

Taking a 2-0 lead into the 4th inning, Stockdale would put runners on first and third with nobody out and the top of the order up. Castro would get a double play ball to limit the damage, despite one Mustang runner scoring. Memorial’s up-the-middle tandem of Mikey Bell and Eddie Saldivar turned three double plays on the day.

From there, Stockdale wouldn’t push across another run until the top of the seventh inning, when the game was already in hand.

“There’s not two other guys in the section that I’d rather have up the middle. Eddie’s a leader with lots of good talk throughout the game and we expect those guys to make those plays,” Salles talked about.

Jalen McMillan added two hits for the Panthers and other RBIs came from Tanner Sagouspe, Eddie Saldivar, and Mikey Bell.

Pitching the key in Buchanan’s victory

Junior Sky Collins lays down a drag bunt for one of his base-hits on Tuesday night versus Liberty. (Photo by Clovis Sports Report)

#3 Buchanan defeated #8 Liberty 7-1 behind five strong innings from Chris Lenocker. Racking up five strikeouts, the Buchanan coaching staff challenged the senior to go after the Patriot hitters all night as there were just a handful of off-speed pitches called. Lenocker’s two-seam fastball, which stayed down in the zone much of the game, got swings and misses at a consistent rate.

Corbin Ybarra opened up the scoring with a two-out triple in the fourth inning, scoring Nick Marchini. However, Liberty would get on the board the next half inning as the Bears threw the ball around the yard. First, it was Temo Becerra airmailing a throw to first base. The next pitch, Lenocker would overthrow first base after fielding a bunt. With the score tied at one apiece, Lenocker would strikeout the next two batters and get a fly out to end the inning.

Becerra, Ybarra, and JP Acosta would add RBIs in the bottom of the 5th to give the Bears some room to breathe. In the sixth inning, Becerra would hammer a pitch off the left field fence for two more RBIs.

Evan Wallace and Sky Collins added two hits each for Buchanan while Christian Williams threw two scoreless innings on the mound.

Other D1 Scores:

Clovis North 9, Minarets 2

The Broncos traveled to Minarets on Tuesday and were led on offense by Blake King who went 2-3 with two homeruns. Luke Sula got the start on the mound and tossed 6 2/3 innings while striking out five batters. Cason Brownell and Rees Kent also came up with two hits each. Clovis Sports Report will be on hand when Clovis North faces off with #4 Frontier on Friday night, at home @ 6:30pm.

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