Mules beat Eagles in extra-inning win

By Delton Wilhite, Sportswriter

The Mules started this past week with an extra-inning win over the Roosevelt Eagles. It took ten innings for the Mules to defeat the Eagles 7-6. Friday, at noon, the Mules the Mules hosted the Slaton Tigers.

The wind blew dirt around the infield and baseballs out of the park Friday. The Mules went into the final inning needing three runs to send the game to extra innings or four runs for the win.

Josh Torres blasted a two-out double to right field. Julian Elizalde doubled to left field to score Torres. An error allowed Kelan Flores to reach first base and Elizalde advanced to third base.

Jacob DeLeon lined a single just over the first baseman’s head to score Elizalde. Ethan Villa blasted a line drive to centerfield. The Tiger centerfielder managed to leap high enough to snag the ball and dash the Mules’ hope of another win. Slaton won the game 16-15.

“These kids never quit,” said Mule baseball coach Wes Boatmun. “They continued to battle to force extra innings at Roosevelt and then came away with the win. Today the outcome was different, but they gave it their best shot.”

The Mules led Roosevelt 3-2 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Three consecutive walks loaded the bases with Eagles. Riley Kettner recorded his twelfth strikeout of the game before giving up a single and two runs.

JoJo Rejino moved to the mound in relief and gave up a double that scored two more runs. The Eagles led the Mules 6-3 after six innings.

Elizalde singled to right field to leadoff the Mule half of the seventh inning. J. DeLeon reached on an error by the second baseman. Villa ground out to second base but sacrificed Elizalde home and J. DeLeon to second.

Rejino doubled to left field to score J. DeLeon and cut the Eagles lead to one. Kettner’s groundball tied the hands of the second baseman long enough for Rejino to score. The Mules had tied the game at 6-6.

Roosevelt doubled to leadoff the bottom of the seventh inning. A fly ball to right-center field was tracked down by Elizalde. He made a sliding catch to hold the winning run at second base. Rejino struck out the third batter and fifth batters to end the inning with the game still tied.

Neither team could score through the next two innings. Kelan Florez had struck out his first four at-bats, but in the top of the tenth inning, he drew a two-out four-pitch walk. Florez then advanced to second on a passed ball.

Florez was off and running at the crack of Elizalde’s bat. Elizalde singled to left field, and Florez slides home under the tag to put the Mules in front 7-6.

Rejino struck out the Eagle leadoff batter. The next batter singled before Rejino fanned his eighth batter of the game. Villa scooped up a ground ball at first base and stepped on the bag to end the ball game.

The Mules never led Slaton but
continued to chip away at the Tiger lead to close the gap to 14-13 in the sixth inning.

The Mules held Slaton scoreless in the top of the sixth inning.

Torres lined a two-out single to right field to start the bottom half of the sixth inning. Elizalde sent a ground ball through the hole for a single. Florez singled to left field to load the bases with Mules.

J. DeLeon sent a fly ball to centerfield for a single that plated Torres.

The Slaton catcher interfered with Villa’s swing, and Villa went to first and forced Elizalde home. Rejino collected a four-pitch walk to force Florez across the plate. The Mules had scored three runs to cut the Tiger lead to 14-13.

A Mule error and a wind-blown home run increased the Tigers lead to 16-13 with the Mules coming to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.

J. DeLeon, Villa, and Josh Torres each had three hits in the game. Kettner and Florez had two each, and M. DeLeon had one hit.

The Mules played their final regular season game Tuesday afternoon when they hosted the second place Idalou Wildcats.

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