Big first inning lifts Victoria East to win over Yoakum
April 20, 2013 at 4:20 a.m.
Updated April 21, 2013 at 4:21 a.m.
Caden Fishbeck hasn't spent too much time on the mound this season. In fact, the junior hasn't pitched since the opening portion of Yoakum's season.
However, Fishbeck found himself on the mound Saturday morning, facing a Victoria East line up that defeated Calhoun the night before and has a shot at the District 30-4A championship on the horizon.
"It felt good just to be out there again," Fishbeck said after the game. "It felt good to carry my team."
"When you get to this point in the district season, I think the point is more for pitching purposes and to give kids a chance who haven't pitched since district started," Yoakum coach Bobby Nicholson said. "We started out a little nervous, but I'm proud of the way our kids fought back."
With the exception of one inning, Fishbeck kept the Titans at bay, giving up just seven hits, but the Bulldogs (16-10) couldn't muster enough offense to overcome a seven-run deficit as East won the non-district meeting 8-4.
The Titans (19-9-1) took advantage of some early struggles by Fishbeck, with Jonathan Ortega leading off with a single and the next four batters reaching base by a walk, an error and two hit by pitches.
"We had some good at bats and got guys on base," Titans coach Wes Kolle said. "We feel pretty confident when our first two guys get on. The guys behind them did a great job of putting the ball in play and making things happen."
Ortega scored first on a passed ball and, with the bases loaded, Tim Gleinser scored when Aaron Prado's hit slowly moved to third base. Yoakum's Chase Hermes would overthrow first base and allowed Jacob Rosales to score an unearned run.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Kyle Davidson drilled a ball into left-center field that scored Hunter Perkins and Prado. Trent Salas added an RBI single and Adrian Gonzalez scored on Gleinser's infield single to give East a 7-0 lead.
However, Fishbeck wouldn't give the Titans another hit until Cole Urban led off the bottom of the fifth with a double to left field.
"I started out kind of rough, but after the first inning I started finding my groove and it took off from there," Fishbeck said. "I had to get adjusted to the mound and there were some nerves."
The Bulldogs cut East's lead to three runs in the top of the third when Yoakum was able to take advantage of a pair of Titan errors.
Ryan Kvinta led off with a walk and Timmy Blakeney followed him with a single to start the inning. That allowede Blake McCracken drove in Kvinta with a single to left field on the first pitch of his at bat.
Blakeney would score on an error that put Keith Ratley on base. Troy Kacir kept the offense going for Yoakum with an RBI single to right field that scored McCracken. During the next at bat, East's catcher, Prado, overthrew a pickoff attempt at third base that allowed Ratley to score easily and cut East's lead to 7-4.
For a team that is set to play Calallen, a team that started the season ranked No. 1 in the state, for the District 30-4A championship Friday, the third inning wasn't what Kolle wanted to see.
"We try to avoid giving up the big inning," Kolle said. "We want to avoid that and stop any type of bleeding that may occur. We gave up the one big inning and were able to slam the door after that."
The Titans added another run in the bottom of the fifth.
Fishbeck allowed just two more hits after the first inning and ended up lasting five innings while allowing five earned runs with three walks and a pair of strikeouts.
Michael Garcia got the win for the Titans, pitching the first 2 1/3 innings. He gave up seven hits and two earned runs with two walks and three strikeouts. Jonathan Ortega (2 2/3 innings), Hunter Perkins (1 inning) and Kyle Craft (1 inning) also saw time on the mound for the Titans.
"All of them came in and a did a good job," Kolle said.
Davidson had two runs batted in for East and Salas went 2 for 3 with an RBI. Blakeney and Troy Macha were the only Bulldogs to record multiple hits.