MABTON - It wasn't exactly textbook baseball being played on the Mabton High School field yesterday afternoon.
The Vikings and visiting LaSalle played a marathon non-league contest, and three hours and seven minutes later, the Lightning cruised out of town with a 20-8 victory in its back pocket.
All told Wednesday, there was a total of 18 walks issued-nine by each club. There were also three batters who were plunked with pitches. To make matters worse, the two teams committed a total of 14 errors. Unfortunately for Mabton, 12 of the miscues belong to the Vikes.
Oh yeah, there were also 22 hits in the game-15 of them by LaSalle.
Despite the 20-8 blowout score, ironically, Mabton was very much in the game until the last inning.
"The funny thing is, we were only down 12-8 going into the last inning," said Mabton Coach Kerry Snodgrass. "We had actually played not that bad up to that point.
"But boy, everything broke down in the seventh inning," Snodgrass said.
Mabton's seventh inning woes started when James Magana took the mound in the top of the frame. Magana was the third pitcher Snodgrass used in the contest. Of the first 13 pitches Magana served up to LaSalle, 12 were balls.
"James wasn't ready. He wasn't warmed up," said Snodgrass.
At that point, Snodgrass elected to replace Magana with Alex Balli, who quickly recorded a strikeout. The reversal of fortunes didn't last long, as LaSalle fired back with a couple of hits. Coupled with several walks and three Mabton errors, the Lightning went on to post an eight-run inning.
Of the seven hits Mabton got off LaSalle's pitching staff, Ray Elizondo, Magana and Balli accounted for six of them. Elizondo banged out two singles in three trips to the plate, Magana was 2-for-4 and Balli had a single and a leadoff double in the sixth in two official trips to the plate.
Mabton (2-4, 3-7) is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Trout Lake this coming Saturday.