|Written by George Werner|
|Wednesday, 12 March 2014 11:20|
Junior Orlando Machado hit an inside-the-park home run to highlight an eight-run second inning as Mingus Union High School remained undefeated by run-ruling Thunderbird High School 14-4 in the Marauders’ home baseball opener Tuesday, March 11.
Marshall Shill allowed two runs in three innings for the win, with fellow senior Austin Zwart yielding the other two Chiefs’ runs in the second of two innings of relief and Machado pitching a scoreless sixth inning to close them out.
“I’ve only given up one hit in six innings,” Machado said after his score ended the game with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning when Chiefs senior reliever Thomas Dean’s first pitch to Shill hit him in the back with the bases loaded, triggering the Arizona Interscholastic Association’s five-inning, 10-run mercy rule. “I feel so much adrenaline.”
Machado’s 2-for-3 hitting performance with six runs batted in was the cherry on top of a 13-hit MUHS sundae that Thunderbird [4-5] also generously sprinkled with four errors.
The Marauders [3-0] were already up 3-0 when Machado crushed Chiefs sophomore starter Brett Budde’s pitch through the gap to the fence in right field, scoring senior third baseman Taylor Mathe and junior shortstop Tom McCarty.
“I just had to keep running the basepaths,” Machado said. And keep running around third base he did, sliding into home plate comfortably ahead of the relay throw from the Thunderbird infield.
“It wasn’t just my performance,” he said. “It was a team effort. The whole team did it tonight.”
And the Marauders did it almost immediately, as a throw from Budde to senior first baseman Justin Wilde skipped into right field in the bottom of the first inning, scoring McCarty. A subsequent groundout by Shill to Wilde scored Machado.
Senior Nick Everill singled for the Chiefs to begin the second inning. However, during the next at-bat, Shill caught him in a rundown between first and second base and struck out the next two batters to end the most serious threat to MUHS on the night.
“I really feel like I was able to get on top of my fastball for strikes,” Shill said. “My curveball was also working on the inside and outside corners.”
Budde’s night would end after only one and one-third innings, as he was relieved by Dean in the bottom of the second following senior catcher Tyler Bond’s bases-loaded RBI double that scored Shill, Zwart and sophomore Pete Kelly to extend the MUHS lead to 9-0. The Marauders would hit around before finally being retired, as Mathe beat Dean’s throw to first for his second RBI single of the inning, scoring Bond after knocking in sophomore Jordan Upham to begin the scoring in the second.
“It was just one of those nights for us,” said Marauders head baseball coach Bob Young. “It felt great, because it was just last week that we scored six runs in two games.”
For the full story, please see the Wednesday, March 12, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.
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