Back to the drawing board for Grizzlies

WENATCHEE – After completing a three-game sweep of the Eisenhower Cadets last week, Sunnyside’s baseball team took a major step backwards yesterday in getting 10-runned by the Wenatchee Panthers.

In the 11-1 loss on Wenatchee’s home field - cut short to five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule – the Grizzlies managed just three hits off the Panther’s No. 3 pitcher.

“The Graves kid, he’s only their third starter,” said SHS Coach Pete Marquez.

“We’ll probably see their No. 1 and 2 pitchers when Wenatchee rolls into town this coming Friday,” Marquez said.

Actually, Marquez wasn’t all that unpleased with how his Grizzlies fared at the plate against Graves yesterday.

“We were putting the bat on the ball, hitting it hard at times,” he said.

All told, Graves – who went the distance – only set six Grizzly batters down on strikes.

As highly touted as the Panthers are, being state ranked among the class 4A clubs, Sunnyside put Wenatchee in a hole early on.

Matt Miller opened the first inning by poking a lead-off single. He moved up to second on a sac bunt laid down by Matt Marquez, advancing to third on a groundout that Tim Martinez pushed to the right side of the infield. Miller then raced home with the first run of the game when a hard shot to the third baseman, slapped by A.J. Muniz, was misplayed.

The error was one of two the Panthers committed in the game.

Unlike Wenatchee’s mistakes, though, the Grizzlies didn’t get away with the miscues they made.

Two errors in the bottom of the third led to the Panthers plating six unearned runs. Another error in the fifth opened the gates to let in the final three runs of the game, which brought the game to a screeching halt because of the 10-run mercy rule.

Heading into Tuesday’s CBBN game, Marquez had laid out a pretty simple game plan for his pitching staff. He made the decision to throw all three of his starters, two innings by each to get his club into the seventh.

“We asked each of them to get us just six outs,” he said.

“Asking one pitcher to keep us in the game against the state’s top team, I thought that was too big of a task to ask of just one kid,” Marquez said.

“But asking each of them to get us just six outs, that was more do-able.”

Martin Gonzalez got the nod to start the game atop the hill for the Grizzlies. And, the slow-throwing southpaw came through.

He faced just one batter over the minimum through the first two innings, yielding only a single while inducing five pop-ups to the outfield and one infield grounder.

Muniz took the mound in the third for Sunnyside, but it all went awry from there. Wenatchee’s first batter reached on an infield error. The next four hitters proceeded to get aboard as well, thanks to a walk, a hit-batter and two singles. Following two consecutive outs, the Panthers touched Muniz for two more base hits, drew two more walks and took advantage of yet another Grizzly error.

Down 6-1 at that point, Muniz only allowed one more run in the fourth before giving way to Eric Heisey in the fifth. The four runs Heisey gave up that frame brought the game to an end.

Besides the first-inning single Miller stroked off Wenatchee’s pitcher – Graves – Sunnyside got a pair of single-base knocks from Martinez in the top of the third and from Gilbert Vidaurri in the second frame.


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