LYLE - The Mabton High School baseball team just keeps getting better. The only problem is the young Vikings are having trouble putting everything together at one time.
Mabton lost the opener 6-4 at a doubleheader at Lyle and then dropped the nightcap 8-7 in a game that was called in the fifth inning because of poor weather.
"We put up a good fight," said Mabton Coach Kerry Snodgrass. "We never were a real threat to them, but we never went away either."
Pitching was the story of the first game, as Mabton hurler Tommy Bonewell put forth one of the best efforts of the season for the Vikings. In a complete game outing, Bonewell gave up six hits and hit one batter while walking another. He also had six strikeouts.
Snodgrass said that Bonewell and Lyle's pitcher were dead on in the first three innings, as hardly any one got on the bases.
"Both pitchers did a great job," said Snodgrass.
Errors started to come into play for Mabton after the third inning. The Vikings committed three errors in the last three innings that led to runs.
The big inning for the Vikings in the opener was a three-run sixth. Marco Zepeda and Alex Valli scored off a pair of groundouts after walking earlier in the inning. Bonewell, who had a bloop single in his at-bat, scored off a wild pitch.
The problem for the Vikings is that while they had five hits, none of them were belted all that hard. Snodgrass said the Cougars pounded the ball.
Snodgrass said he was pleased with the at-bats of his team in the first game, striking out only four times.
Errors at the wrong times led to Mabton's downfall in the nightcap.
The Vikes took an early 3-0 lead after scoring in the top of the first. Alex Zavala and Rey Elizondo scored off passed balls in the first inning. Bonewell, who walked and stole a base, then scored off a single from Magana.
Snodgrass said things looked good for Mabton when pitcher James Magana needed only three pitches to get out of the first inning.
"It was an incredible inning," said Snodgrass of Magana's unique showing in the frame.
But Magana ran into some problems in the bottom of the second, when the only two walks he gave up in four innings of work came around to score.
The fifth inning would prove to be what undid the Vikings. Zepeda pitched in relief for the Vikings, walking the first batter and then hitting another. Zepeda then gave up an RBI double and hit the next batter. An error then scored a run before a dropped fly ball by Mabton's defense kind of brought down the house.
"Our heads just kind of hung," said Snodgrass.
With two outs, Lyle scored the winning run off a wild pitch.
Mabton missed a major chance to score some additional runs in the nightcap, leaving a pair of baserunners on in the top of the fifth.
Bonewell had a great day at the plate for the Vikings, going a combined 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles in the second game.
Despite the loss, Snodgrass isn't too disappointed.
"We played as a team," said the Mabton skipper. "We fought. We hung around."
The Vikings (0-6, 4-7) will hit the road this Thursday for a game against RiverView's junior varsity.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 T H E
Mabton 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 4 5 4
Lyle 0 0 0 3 1 2 x 6 6 1
Pitching-Tommy Bonewell six hits, six strikeouts, one hit batter, one walk in a complete game.
Hitting-Tommy Bonewell 2-for-2. Alex Valli 1-for-2. Rey Elizondo 1-for-3. Ramon Monciviaz 1-for-3.
1 2 3 4 5 T H E
Mabton 3 0 1 3 0 7 7 5
Lyle 0 2 2 0 4 8 2 2
Hitting-Tommy Bonewell 2-for-2 with a double in the third and fifth innings. James Magana 1-for-2. Andrew Tellez 1-for-3. Alex Zavala 1-for-3. Marco Zepeda 1-for-3.