Varsity baseball team defeats Littlefield Wildcats

By Derek Lopez

The Muleshoe Mules’ varsity baseball fell short in their comeback efforts, as they fell to the Littlefield Wildcats in their district-opener on Saturday, 9-8.

With the loss, the Mules fall to 0-1 in district play.

Ethan Villa started the game on the mound for the Mules; he pitched one and 2/3 innings, giving up five walks and two runs, while earning one strike out. JoJo Rejino came on to finish the game, pitching five and 1/3 innings. He earned six strike outs, while giving up seven runs and three walks.

Colton Campbell got off to a quick start in the top of the first inning as he got Jacob DeLeon to strike out looking and Villa to strike out swinging.

Campbell gave up a walk to Rejino, before getting Riley Kettner to strike out swinging. On a dropped third strike, he was thrown out at first by Marcus Hinojos to retire the side.

Campbell led off the bottom half of the side for the Wildcats with a double to left center field. Hinojos hit a grounder to Kettner at shortstop and was thrown out at first for out number one, as Campbell advanced to third on the play.

Nick Garcia had a hit fall in shallow right field for an RBI single, putting the Wildcats up, 1-0.

Garcia was caught trying to steal second by Moises Vasquez, but Chris Brown drew a walk to give the Wildcats a base runner with two outs.

Blake Green struck out swinging on a dropped third strike and was thrown out at first by Vasquez to end the inning.

Vasquez hit a chopper to Jonathan Tiller at third, who threw to first for the out to begin the second inning. Leonel Camarena drew a walk and stole second on a pitch to Kelan Florez, before Florez struck out swinging for out number two.

Matt DeLeon was struck out swinigng to retire the side, as the Mules stranded a runner on base.

In the bottom of the second inning, Tiller was hit by a pitch and Coldon Land laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by the pitcher, Villa, and thrown to first for the out, as Tiller moved into scoring position at second base with one.

Tiller stole third on a past ball, before Jeremy Sanchez was hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners for Littlefield. Nick Mata was walked to load the bases and Campbell hit an RBI sacrifice fly to Jacob DeLeon in center field, that allowed Tiller to tag up and score from third, making the score, 2-0.

Hinojos was hit by a pitch to load the bases again for the Wildcats, prompting a pitching change for Muleshoe.

Rejino relieved Villa on the mound for the Mules.

He gave up an RBI walk to Garcia, making the score, 3-0, before Brown popped up to Jacob DeLeon, who made a diving catch in shallow center field to end the inning.

Campbell gave up a lead-off walk to begin the third inning and Jacob DeLeon hit a chopper to third that was bobbled at third, putting runners on first and second for the Mules with no outs.

Villa laid down a bunt towards first base that was fielded by Green away from the bag; he tossed it to Campbell, but he was late getting to the bag, as the bases were loaded with no outs.

One run scored on a past ball to Rejino, making the score, 3-1, with runners on second and third for the Mules, still with no outs.

Rejino roped a two-RBI single down the first-base line, tying the game, 3-3.

Campbell was relieved on the mound by Garcia, as he got Kettner to fly out to Land in center field for out number one.

Vasquez struck out swinging, but Camarena was hit by a pitch. Florez hit an RBI double to left field, giving the Mules their first lead of the game, 4-3.

Matt DeLeon hit a chopper to Garcia on the hill and was thrown out at first to retire the side.

The Wildcats were unable to get anything going in the bottom of the third inning, as Green and Tiller both struck out swinging.

Land singled to left field and Sanchez hit a grounder to Kettner at shortstop; he made the throw to first, but the ball was dropped by Villa, putting runners on first and second for Littlefield.

The inning was ended when Mata popped up to Rigo Mendoza at third for the third out.

Muleshoe singled on an error to Brown at shortstop to begin the fourth inning and Jacob DeLeon laid down a sacrifice bunt that was fielded by Garcia and throw to first for the out, as the runner moved into scoring position at second.

Garcia, though, got Villa to strike out swinging and Rejino to strike out looking to retire the side.

Campbell grounded out to Kettner at shortstop to lead off the bottom of the fourth inning, but Hinojos singled to left field and Garcia was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second for Littlefield with no outs.

Brown hit a high chopper towards third that short-hopped Mendoza, allowing Hinojos to score from second, tying the game, 4-4.

Green hit an RBI double up the middle and Tiller followed it up with a two-RBI double to the left field fence, stretching their lead to, 7-4. Dakota Martinez came on as a pinch runner for Tiller.

The momentum seized as Land popped up to Villa at first in foul territory and Sanchez struck out swinging to end the inning.

In the top of the fifth inning, Kettner grounded out to Brown at shortstop, but Vasquez doubled down the third-base line; Jesse Montiel came on as the courtesy runner.

Camarena hit a chopper to Brown at shortstop, but a high throw to first allowed Montiel to score, trimming the lead to, 7-5. Florez lined out to Brown at shortstop, who then threw to first, doubling up Camarena to retire the side.

Both teams went scoreless heading into the top of the seventh inning.

Rejino got the Mules on base with a single to right center field on a diving attempt by Land and Kettner hit a chopper to Mata at second base, that was bobbled, putting runners on first and second for Muleshoe with no outs.

Vasquez hit a two-RBI triple to the left field fence, tying the game, 7-7, and Camarena hit an RBI single through the right side, giving the Mules a one-run lead, 8-7.

Florez flew out to Doty in left field, but Matt DeLeon was hit by a pitch, putting runners on first and second for the Mules. Garcia got Derek Barron to strike out swinging for out number two, before being relieved by Mata on the mound.

Mata came on and got Jacob DeLeon to hit a grounder up the middle, that was fielded by Garcia, who stepped on second for the force out to retire the side.

In the bottom of the seventh, Land drew a lead-off walk, but Doty struck out swinging for out number one. Mata singled to left field, putting runners on first and second for Littlefield.

Land and Mata advanced on a pitch to Campbell, before Campbell hit a grounder to Barron at second base; he thought about going home with the throw, but instead tried to go to first with it. The throw was high and into the home teams’ dugout as two runs scored and the Wildcats walked off with a, 9-8 district victory over the Mules.

The Mules hosted Shallowater on Tuesday. Results were not available at press time. They will continue district play on Friday when they host Roosevelt.

First pitch is scheduled for noon.

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