In the days leading up to Friday’s game against the Corpus Christi Moody Trojans, Alice coach Victor Escamilla said the Coyotes had an advantage at home.
He’s probably right, but the District 31-4A match-up wasn’t decided by wind direction or breaks on the field. Instead, the Coyotes’ bats were the difference.
Alice pummeled Moody’s pitching staff for 11 hits en route to a 15-3 win. The game was ended after five innings because of the Coyotes’ 12-run lead.
The Trojans committed four errors and Alice starter Nathan Oliver scattered only five hits through the five-inning game.
The Coyotes’ dominance was a far cry from their performance a week ago in an 8-3 loss to Kingsville.
Escamilla said the turnaround is a tribute to the team’s dedication and hard work over the last week.
“I told the kids afterwards that it was a lesson in athletics,” Escamilla said. “We lost a week ago and we were at a low-point this time last week. But, after we lost last Friday, the kids came back and worked hard Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They continued to work and never looked back.”
The Coyotes jumped on the Trojans’s starter in the first inning. They loaded the bases off a lead-off hit by Mikey Lopez, a walk and a hit-batter. A.J. Perez then drove the first on a fielder’s choice. Moody was able to get two outs from the play and it appeared they would escape the inning giving up only one run. However, Zach Jaramillo reached second on a double which set up a two-run double by Hunter Jaramillo.
Sosa, who started for Moody in a win against Kingsville Tuesday, was pulled. The Trojans ended up using four pitchers in the game, but neither was able to cool the Coyotes’ bats. Moody’s pitchers allowed a total of nine walks in the game. They also walked in a pair of runs.
“Their strategy was to use Soza for a couple of innings, build a lead and see how far they could go and then use a different pitcher and hope we would slip up,” Escamilla said. “We weren’t going to let that happen in Alice.”
The inning didn’t end before a double by sophomore Preston Valenzuela scored pinch-runner Rudy Garza, giving the Coyotes a 4-0 lead.
In the second, Jaramillo and Preston Valenzuela had key hits to lead a six-run rally. Alice scored another five in the third inning.
Jaramillo finished the game, going 2-for-3, including a double and four RBIs. Valenzuela was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Lopez was 3-for-4 with a stolen base, an RBI and three runs. Louie Mandel went 2-for-2.
Moody coach Corky Gallegos took the blame for the loss and said his team wasn’t prepared.
“I feel like I?let my teams down,” he said. “This one is on me. I?didn’t prepare (our pitchers) well enough to come in and throw strikes consistently. I?didn’t equip them with the confidence to stay focused.”