March 4, 2021
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By Delton Wilhite, Sportswriter

JoJo Rejino got the nod to take the mound Tuesday when the Mules hosted the Littlefield Wildcats. Rejino recorded three strikeouts while the Mules defense all but shut out the Wildcats through five innings.

The Mules chronicled 12 runs on 16 hits to defeat Littlefield 12-7. The Mules charged the Wildcats with three unearned runs during the game.

“Our bats have been hot most of the season,” said Mule coach Wes Boatmun. “But we have been hitting the ball right at people, but tonight we were finding the gaps. I must compliment the kids for playing good defense and knowing the situation.”

“Littlefield had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the third inning and appeared to be on their way to breaking the game wide open. On back-to-back plays, we cut down the lead runner at home plate. Then a final ground ball ended the inning with no runs scoring. I am proud of our defense.”

The first Littlefield batter lined a first-pitch single to centerfield to start the game. The second batter sent a fly ball to centerfield that Jacob DeLeon tracked down and caught. Kelan Florez made a running catch near the foul line in left field for the second out.

Rejino issued his first walk of the game before getting the final batter to ground out to Matt DeLeon at third base. M. DeLeon scooped up the groundball and fired a strike to Leonel Camarena at first base to complete the third out.

J. DeLeon led off for the Mules with a ground ball through the hole and into left field. Ethan Villa doubled down the right-field line to put Mules at second and third. Rejino helped out his cause by doubling to the fence in centerfield to score both J. DeLeon and Villa.

Camarena sent a two-out ground ball by first base to score Rejino and put the Mules on top 3-0 to stay after one inning.

Littlefield charged the Mules for an error to open the second inning and scored a run.

The Mules could not answer in the bottom of the second inning but continued to lead the Wildcats 3-1.

Photos by Norman Brantley

The Wildcats seemed to be on a roll and loaded the bases in the top half of the third inning on three consecutive walks. Rejino handled a grounder back to the mound, and tossed it to Moises Vasquez at home for the force and out number one.

Rigo Mendoza stabbed a hard-hit ground ball at third and threw home for the force and second out of the inning. Villa fielded a ground ball at second and went to Camarena at first for the final out of the inning. The Wildcats had not scored after loading the bases.

Rejino lined a one-out single into centerfield in the bottom of the third inning. He scored on the double to leftfield by Riley Kettner. The Mule led 4-1 after three innings.

Neither team could score in the fourth inning. And the Mules held the Wildcats scoreless in the top of the fifth inning. The Mules added three runs to their lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Villa ripped a one-out line-drive solo home run over the right-field fence. Rejino followed with a double to left field. Kettner plated Rejino with a double left field.

Kettner scored on a single to left field. The Mules led 7-1 after five innings.

The Wildcats scored two runs in the top of the sixth inning and added four more in the top of the seventh inning.

The Mules had an opportunity to 10- run rule the Wildcats in the bottom of the sixth inning. M. DeLeon reached on an error when the second baseman bobbled a groundball. Julia Elizalde singled to right field to put Mules at first and second base.

Villa singled to right field to score M. DeLeon. Elizalde went to third, and Villa stopped at second base. Kettner tied the shortstop’s hands with a ground ball to load the bases with Mules on the error.

Vasquez had been held hitless on the day when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the sixth inning. He got the pitch he wanted and sent it over the fence in left field for a grand slam home run to put the Mules up 12-3.

Camarena sent a ground ball over first base for a double. Florez followed with a single to right field. Camarena rounded third base and headed home. It took a perfect throw to cut him down at the plate for the third out.

M. DeLeon took the mound with one out and two runs across. A ground ball to Kettner at shortstop forced out a runner at second base. Rejino had moved to second base on defense. He fielded a ground ball and threw to Camarena at first to end the game.

The Mules lost to the league-leading Shallowater Mustangs 12-7 Friday evening. The Mules traveled to Lubbock Roosevelt Monday, April 16. The Mules will return home Friday, April 20 to host the Slaton Tigers. Idalou will come to Muleshoe Tuesday, April 24. Both home games will start at 7:00 PM.


Rhea Gonzales


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