Gilroy High baseball lifted itself out of the doldrums Tuesday
afternoon with a 9-5 win over the Alisal Trojans in Salinas, ending
a nine-game losing streak. The Mustangs then followed that
performance up by beating Alisal again on Thursday, this time by a
score of 6-5, giving Gilroy its first winning streak since a
six-game run ended March 13.
Gilroy High baseball lifted itself out of the doldrums Tuesday afternoon with a 9-5 win over the Alisal Trojans in Salinas, ending a nine-game losing streak. The Mustangs then followed that performance up by beating Alisal again on Thursday, this time by a score of 6-5, giving Gilroy its first winning streak since a six-game run ended March 13.
But a combination of mistakes and questionable calls almost sent the Mustangs (9-15 overall, 7-5 league) spiraling back down to the depths of despair. That is until freshman Eric Vegas knocked a double to the right-center field wall in the bottom of the seventh, scoring Charlie Duffy and Jordan Holler, who both walked on prior at-bats.
“It feels really good,” Vegas said. “(I was thinking) we should be winning and we’re going to come back – had to have a positive attitude.”
Taking a 4-2 lead into the top of the seventh, Gilroy looked poised to close the door until an error and two walks by pitcher James Lafuente loaded the bases for Alisal (5-17-1, 4-8). Alfredo Aportela then slapped a one-out single to right field to cut Gilroy’s lead to 4-3.
The Mustangs thought they had the game won a batter later when Duffy caught a soft hit single and tagged first base to double-up the runner, but the home-plate umpire ruled the Alisal player safe. The next batter was hit by the first pitch thrown, bringing another runner home to knot the game up 4-all.
Alisal’s Daniel Castellanos then singled to score Milton Grant Jr. and take the lead 5-4, but the Trojans pressed their luck as Aportela was thrown out at home by a one-hop laser from rightfielder Kevin Grove.
Pitcher Taylor Chris would have gotten the win for Gilroy had Alisal not come back. He pitched four innings, allowed two runs (neither of which were earned), struck out six and walked three. Lafuente ended up with the victory, allowing three runs in three innings of work while striking out two.
Gilroy’s earlier runs came on back-to-back doubles by Grove and Lukas Fortino in the first inning followed by a Duffy single. The Mustangs then scored a run in the third when Chris advanced home on a wild pitch. The last run scored before Vegas’ heroics came on a triple by Danny Contreras that plated Roberto Celestino, who doubled before being moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Lafuente.
Despite the victory, not everyone was happy. Gilroy coach Clint Wheeler declined comment due to dissatisfaction with his players preparation. The Mustangs will have a chance to extend their winning streak to three, and get back in the good graces of their coach, when the team hosts North Salinas Saturday at noon.