Good pitching can keep just about any baseball team in a game to the very end. Bad pitching can make a team not even want to take the field.
Case in point, this past Saturday's home doubleheader for the Sunnyside High School baseball team against Mid-Valley League rival Prosser.
The opening game pitted pitchers of opposing styles against one another. Sunnyside's Derek Uberuaga got the best of Prosser's Ricky Adams in a 3-2 decision. Not even utilizing four pitchers in the second game could help the Mustangs, as Prosser's bullpen fell apart in a 14-1 loss.
The Grizzlies (4-1, 7-3) are tied with West Valley for second place in the Mid-Valley League, heading into Tuesday's single game at Ellensburg. Sunnyside and the Rams are a game behind 5-0 Selah.
One not so stellar inning was the only blemish on an otherwise stellar outing from Grizzly pitcher Derek Uberuaga. Uberuaga went the distance for Sunnyside in the opener, collecting 10 strikeouts while allowing only four hits. Uberuaga did give up two walks and had one hit batter.
The Mustangs dinged Uberuaga for a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning. In the frame, Prosser mixed in a pair of singles on top of the walk and hit batter Uberuaga had to score the pair of runs.
"Derek pitched a very nice game," said Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez. "He had some velocity going into the seventh inning."
On the opposing side, Sunnyside batters had trouble reading the pitches of Adams, said Martinez. Sunnyside still managed to tag Adams for eight hits. Uberuaga and Tyler Esqueda were both 2-for-3 at the plate in the opener for Sunnyside.
"We weren't adjusting to the slower pitchers again," said Martinez. "We have to be able to make that adjustment from pitcher to pitcher."
Sunnyside scored a pair of runs in the third inning. Chris Newberry singled to plate Jacob Hazzard and then Michael Johnson had a base hit to bring in Newberry. The Grizzlies' other run came in the fourth inning when Esqueda doubled to score Michael Sanchez, who was pinch running for Uberuaga.
The nightcap was a debacle for the Mustangs. Prosser gave up 15 walks and hit four Sunnyside batters in the 14-1 loss.
Prosser scored its lone run in the top of the second off starting pitcher Micah Zakahi, who put in a solid three innings of work.
Zakahi had five strikeouts and scattered four hits. R.J. Elizondo worked a strong two innings of relief, giving up no hits and only one walk.
"Micah pitched well," said Martinez.
The Grizzlies had two runs in the first inning and exploded for eight runs in the second. Sunnyside added one more run in the third and three runs in the fourth.
In Sunnyside's eight-run second inning, the Grizzlies took advantage of six Prosser walks, a hit batter and strung together three singles and a double from Uberuaga.
Johnson had an interesting statistic in the second game. The Grizzly catcher went 0-for-0 at the plate, but had four walks and recorded four RBIs. Nathan Anderson and Pete Marquez were both 2-for-3 at the plate. Newberry had three walks in the second game to bring his total to a team high 10 on the season. Newberry and Johnson lead Sunnyside in walks with 10 apiece.
"Our kids did a nice job of waiting for pitches," said Martinez. "When they did throw a fast ball, our kids jumped right on it."
Martinez said he isn't quite sure what to expect going into Tuesday's game at Ellensburg. Martinez said the Bulldogs have lost a number of players off last year's squad, but Ellensburg is still carrying some talent.