MABTON - Two young, inexperienced clubs, coupled with an afternoon of wind gusts estimated at close to 30 miles per hour, resulted in a total of 42 runs being scored this past Saturday.
When all was said and done, though, the Mabton High School baseball team had persevered, knocking off the Klickitat Vandals twice, 16-9 and 10-7. For the Vikings (2-3), Saturday's victories were their first of the season.
"We're very young this season," said Mabton Coach Kerry Snodgrass. "We only have two seniors on the team, and the juniors we have are very inexperienced.
"We'll take some licks this year," he added.
This past Saturday, Mabton handed out the licks to the Vandals.
In Saturday's opener, the Vikings rebounded from the two runs Klickitat put on the board in the top of the first, shoving nine runs across the plate in the bottom half of the frame. Marcos Zepeda had a key two-run double in the inning, and Andy Torres lashed an RBI single, as well. Mabton also benefited from five walks that inning.
The Vikes put the game out of reach with a four-run showing in the bottom of the third. A solo home run by James Magana, coupled with Alex Balli's RBI single inflicted the heaviest damage.
Mabton's top hitters in the first game were Magana, 3-for-4 with 3 RBI; and Balli, Zepeda, Torres and Sal Diaz, each of whom went 2-for-4.
Pitching-wise for Mabton in the opener, Balli notched the win. He took the mound in the fourth inning, replacing starting hurler Tommy Bonewell. Zepeda relieved Balli in the sixth and finishing out the pitching chores for the Vikes.
In Saturday's twin bill finale, the Vikings rallied from a 7-5 deficit. Mabton tallied five runs in the bottom of the sixth to pull out the 10-7 victory. Bonewell had a leadoff triple in the sixth, Alex Zavala contributed an RBI bloop double, Javier Galvan poked a two-run single and Zepeda added a rwo-run triple to close out the scoring.
For the game, Galvan was 4-for-4 with a leadoff double in the fifth and a two-run triple in the first frame. Zepeda added a 2-for-4 performance.
Magana went the distance on the mound for Mabton. He scattered 13 hits, fanned 10 and walked five.
Snodgrass said the Vandals got to Magana early, scoring four runs in the top of the first. "I don't think James was ready to go at the start of the game," said Snodgrass. "He didn't have a lot of zip on his pitches.
"But he settled down after that, and with some plays we made behind him, he was able to go the whole way," Snodgrass said.