Tribe has work to do
Yuma High School’s baseball has seen its margin for error shrink a bit.
The Indians suffered their first loss in the Lower Platte Activities Association, last Saturday in the second game against Wiggins, dropping their league mark to 9-1 overall, and 3-1 against 2A District 2 opponents.
Wiggins improved to 1-3 against 2A District 2 opponents, and hosts Akron, 0-4 in District 2, on Saturday.
Yuma has a big single league game Saturday at Wray (11 a.m.). The Eagles are tied with Yuma at 3-1 in District 2 action, 6-2 overall in LPAA play.
Holyoke also is 3-1 in District 2 games, and hosts Akron on Tuesday, April 16.
The Indians still control their own destiny in regards to winning the LPAA regular season title for the first time, but likely will have to win both league games against Wray (the return game in Yuma is April 30) and Holyoke, which hosts the Tribe for two in the regular-season finale, May 4.
Yuma also has a challenging league game at Sterling on Tuesday at 4 p.m. The Tigers entered this week 8-1 and ranked No. 4 in the Class 3A Top 10.
Yuma is ranked No. 8 in 2A this week, while Wray has entered the poll at No. 9, so Saturday’s rivalry game also will be a Top 10 showdown. The Indians were No. 4 in the 2A RPI as of Tuesday, while Wray was No. 9. Holyoke also is in the Top 10 RPI at No. 10. Plus, upcoming opponent Burlington was No. 3 in the RPI earlier this week.
All those high rankings will be beneficial to the Indians finishing with a high RPI ranking, if they can take care of business on the diamond.
The Indians finally had nice weather last Saturday when they hosted Wiggins, with little wind a temperatures in the 70s.
It started out perfectly as Yuma rallied for a 9-3 win in the opener. However, it all came apart in the nightcap as Wiggins rolled to a 12-0 win, scoring 10 runs in the first inning.
Actually, the start of the first game foreshadowed what was to come later.
Wiggins immediately jumped on Yuma ace Paul Brophy, tagging him for two runs off of four hits, including two doubles, in the top of the first.
Yuma got on the board in the home half of the second when Brophy doubled and scored on Conner McCoy’s single to left.
Wiggins answered with another run in the top of the third off a double and a single for a 3-1 lead.
However, Brophy settled in on the hill after that, and Yuma’s bats warmed up.
Manny Tena launched a solo homer to right field to get it going, followed by singles by Chase McCreath and Trevor Salzman. Steven Wells knocked them both in with a double, then scored himself on Brophy’s second double of the game.
That gave Yuma a 5-3 lead.
The Indians scored two more in the fourth when Giovanny Rodriguez singled and a pinch runner scored, and Alex Falconburg reached on an error then showed great hustle scoring from second on a wild pitch. (Falconburg also had an outstanding game in the field, making several stellar plays at third base.)
Falconburg and McCreath both drew walks and scored in the sixth for a 9-3 lead.
That was more than enough for Brophy, who went 5-2/3 innings. The senior allowed three runs on nine hits, but struck out 10 and walked only two. Yahir Trejo went the final 1-1/3 innings, not allowing a run while yielding two hits.
Brophy definitely helped his own cause by going 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and one RBI. Rodriguez had two hits including a double, Tena had a homer and two RBI, Wells a double, two RBI and one run, McCreath one hit and two runs, Salzman one hit and one run, McCoy one hit and one RBI and one run each by Rolando Caraveo and Joey Ross.
The win improved Yuma to 9-0 in LPAA games.
However, that quickly changed in the nightcap.
Just five days after dominating Akron in a complete-game victory, McCreath did not even make it out of the first inning on Saturday. The junior was touched up for 10 runs in the opening frame. Wiggins had four hits in the rally, including two doubles, and was helped mightily by four walks and three errors.
Wiggins tagged on two more runs in the third for a 12-0 lead.
That was more than enough for Wiggins pitcher Bryce Ford. Yuma threatened to score only once, in the second when the Indians had runners on second and third with two outs, only to have Ford end the threat with a strikeout.
The game was called after five innings, the first time the Indians had been 10-run ruled in five innings in a LPAA game in a long time.
Ford allowed only three hits over those five innings, striking out nine and walking two.
Rodriguez had a double for Yuma, while Falconburg and Salzman each hit a single.
Yuma did not commit an error after the three in the first inning, but the damage was already done.
Seven of Wiggins’ runs were tagged to McCreath, though only three were earned, as he walked three and allowed two hits. Fabian Salcido ended up going three innings, allowing five runs, four earned, on five hits, striking out three and walking two. Tena went the last two innings, allowing only one hit while striking out three and walking none.
Paul Brophy benefit
Wray Eagle Baseball will be hosting a “Supporting Paul Brophy” event after the Yuma-Wray baseball game, Saturday in Wray.
The game is at 11 a.m., followed by the event for Brophy, the YHS senior baseball player who recently completed treatment for cancer. The benefit will be held in the Roundhouse due to expected cold weather.
There will be a Mexican dinner plate after the game, with donations welcome. There also will be “#OneBallPaul” bracelets available for $2, and a bag of peanuts for $1.
So go enjoy what should be a great game between Yuma County’s 2A rivals, and stick around for some food and fun for a great cause.