Ty Madrigal wasn’t feeling very good Monday. But the Elk Grove sophomore pitcher knew he needed to answer Coach Jeff Carlson’s call to start in the Herd’s biggest game thus far this season.
“He did a good job of keeping us in the game, despite feeling a little under the weather today,” Carlson said.
What Madrigal did was hold a scrappy Vintage High School team at bay for four innings to allow Elk Grove, the second seed from the Delta Valley Conference, to jump out to a 7-1 lead and then hold on for a 9-6 win over the Crushers to open the Division I North Sac-Joaquin Section baseball tournament at Wackman Field.
“After watching him last week I felt as though he gave us a good match-up,” Carlson said. “(Madrigal) did a good job holding their guys on because they run well on the base paths.”
|Elk Grove pitcher Ty Madrigal
After pitching a rocky fourth inning that included a pair of Elk Grove errors, four Vintage runs and three hits, Madrigal went to the bench and started throwing up, still feeling the affects of the flu. Carlson went the final three innings with staff ace David Smith to put a lid on the Crushers.
Smith gave up a run on three hits, struck out one and walked three in his relief appearance.
The big bats of the Herd kept knocking the Crushers’ pitchers around, getting 13 hits. Senior Dom Nunez, in his final game at Wackman Field, was three-for-four with a pair of RBI’s.
“I just played the game hard and tried to get as dirty as possible,” he grinned, wearing a layer of infield dirt soiled on his jersey.
Designated hitter Landon Gastelum and shortstop Nick Madrigal each had a pair of singles while Derek Hill had an two-RBI triple in in the third inning, plus an RBI single in the first frame.
The Crushers, who scored one in the first inning, drew within two at 7-5 in the fourth and could have gotten closer, but Dahlen Bernere was thrown out at the plate trying to score from second base on Jared Lemke’s single. A nifty Rowdy Tellez-to-Dylan Carlson-to-Nunez relay beat Bernere to home.
The Herd now faces Sierra Foothill League champion Woodcreek Monday at 4 p.m. at Sacramento City College. That game will also be a single-elimination contest. From that point on, the Section playoffs will be a double-elimination affair.
The game was one of four single-elimination, “play-in” games that were staged Monday in the newly-expanded 12-team Division I bracket.
In the other contests, DVC No.3 seed Franklin rolled over Rodriguez, 13-0, as Tyler Blake and Hank LoForte each had home runs. Pleasant Grove defeated Rocklin, 2-1, and Jesuit beat Granite Bay, 11-5.