The Sunnyside High School baseball team sort of shot itself in the foot yesterday against 2A Ephrata in the Grizzlies' non-league finale.
Five errors led to 10 unearned runs as the Tigers walked away with a 15-6 victory.
"Anytime you give up 10 runs to any team, let alone a perennial power like Ephrata, you are going to lose," said Sunnyside Coach Dave Martinez. "Take away those five errors and we win 6-5."
Starting pitcher Micah Zakahi got in a hole early as he went just 1/3 of an inning, giving up six runs. Only three of the six runs the Tigers scored in the first inning off Zakahi were earned. R.J. Elizondo worked the next 2-2/3 innings on the mound, scattering five runs. Ephrata plated four more runs in the top of the fourth off relief pitchers Michael Sanchez and Tyler Esqueda. Derek Uberuaga came in to finish the game off and worked a solid 1-1/3 innings, fanning four Ephrata batters.
"I thought Derek did a nice job," said Martinez.
Sunnyside looked as if it was going to stay in the game with a three-run showing in the bottom of the first. With two outs, Michael Johnson and Zakahi scored off a double from Nathan Anderson. Anderson later scored on a wild pitch.
Sunnyside then plated another pair of runs in the bottom of the second with two outs. The Grizzlies' final run came in the bottom of the fifth inning.
Martinez felt the Grizzlies did a nice job of hitting the ball against Ephrata's ace. Sunnyside had 10 hits in the game, led by a 3-for-3 performance from Zakahi.
"Neither pitching staff was real effective," said Martinez.
The Grizzlies left eight runners stranded in scoring position in last night's game. Martinez said he felt the Grizzlies did a nice job of scoring with two outs. But on the same hand, Sunnyside was getting too many base runners on with two outs.
The errors were a couple of miscues on pick-off plays. The Grizzlies also had a pair of fielding errors and one throwing error.
Martinez said there are things his team can learn from losing to Ephrata to take into Saturday's home Mid-Valley League opener against West Valley.
The Grizzlies finished their non-league campaign at 3-3, two games above where they were last year.
"The games we lost we didn't play really good defense," said Martinez.
While Saturday's league opener against West Valley is crucial, it is not a must-win for the Grizzlies.
"There are still a lot more league games left," said Martinez.
But, Saturday's twin bill against the Rams is crucial because it will set the tone for the season.
"I expect them (West Valley) to want to come out and beat Sunnyside," said Martinez. "It is a big game."
. Mike Kantman can be contacted at (509) 837-4500, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
1 2 3 4 5 T H E
Ephrata 6 2 3 4 0 15 12 1
Sunnyside 3 2 0 0 1 6 10 5
Pitching: Micah Zakahi six runs, three hits, two walks in 1/3 inning. R.J. Elizondo five runs, five hits, four strikeouts in 2-2/3 innings. Michael Sanchez three runs, one hit, one walk. Tyler Esqueda one walk in 1/3 inning. Derek Uberuaga two hits, four strikeouts in 1-2/3 innings.
Hitting: Chris Newberry 1-for-2. Pete Marquez 1-for-2. Derek Uberuaga 1-for-2. Micah Zakahi 3-for-3 with a double in the fourth. Nathan Anderson 1-for-3 with a double in the first. Michael Johnson 1-for-3 with a double in the second inning. R.J. Elizondo 1-for-4.