It’s a good time to be a Vandal in the long-standing rivalry with Globe. Not only does Miami possess the Copper Kettle after last fall’s annual football faceoff, but the Vandals have showed major ownage of the Tigers baseball team, beating Globe by a combined score of 45-9 in the season’s 2-game series.
Last week, the Miami baseball team came into Globe on a warm and breezy Friday afternoon to continue the Tigers’ woes, putting a 28-7 pasting on a team searching for an identity.
The victory came in part from a masterful pitching performance by Vandal No. 11 Matheu Escobedo and in part from another meltdown by the Globe pitching staff and poor defensive play.
Globe Coach Nathan Morales was not at the April 2 game, as he was serving a suspension received at San Carlos the previous Friday for arguing with the umpire on a controversial call that ended that game in an 11-10 Tiger loss.
The game started out hopeful for the Tigers, as starting pitcher No. 13 Jace O’Connor hit a groove the first two innings. In the first, O’Connor pitched around an error and a single to strike out the side with the bases loaded.
The second inning would have been a cakewalk, but two more Globe errors led to an unearned run and a score of 1-0, Miami.
Escobedo pitched around fielding issues of his own and some initial wildness. He hit Tiger leadoff hitter No. 5 James Carrillo to start the bottom of the first. A single by Tiger No. 7 Seth Durbin and an error by shortstop No. 2 Jaden Goss loaded the bases, but the crafty southpaw struck out No. 20 John Denver, and No. 8 Seth Fane flew out to right to end the inning.
In the second, he struck out the side again, despite hitting his second batter, No. 23 Michael Marquez.
The wheels came off for O’Connor and the Tigers in the third, when a series of errors and walks, combined with some creative at bats, opened the floodgates for a Vandal 7-run inning.
The inning started when O’Connor hit Gabe Escobedo, wearing the No. 12 of catcher Tyree Koyayseva, who was sitting the game out after being hit in the face with a baseball the week before.
A walk and an error led to the first run of the inning, and a second walk loaded the bases once again.
A single by No. 20 Riley Guthery made the score 4-0, and diminutive Vandal No. 3 Tanner Peery laid down a suicide squeeze to make it 5-0 Miami.
A strikeout and a fielder’s choice gave O’Connor two outs — and Miami a 6-0 lead — with a runner at first, but his time was short. An error on a pickoff attempt allowed Goss to score, and another walk sealed the young pitcher’s fate, as No. 10 Ben Thompson was sent in to pitch. A wild pitch and a passed ball gave the Vandals one more run and the inning finally ended on a strikeout looking by Vandal No. 14 Matt Riddle.
Escobedo gave up two runs in the bottom of the third on a single, a walk, a passed ball and two stolen bases. A triple by Fane with two outs set the Tigers up for a big inning, but No. 14 Jacob Sukosky struck out to quietly end the inning with a score of 8-2 Miami.
The Vandals matched those two runs in the top of the fourth and Globe scored three in the bottom of the frame to make it a 10-5 Miami lead. The Vandals added more in the top of the fifth to make it 11-5. Another pitching change for Globe brought in No. 11 Trace Hill to toe the rubber.
The top of the sixth proved to be the Tigers’ undoing as Hill gave up a long home run to Vandal No. 15 Austin Higginbotham, who was in the lineup to catch for Koyayseva. After a pair of walks, Hill was lifted for Carrillo, who lasted four batters before he was lifted with the score sitting at 14-5 Miami and the bases loaded.
No. 15 Damon Encizo did not fare any better as the Miami bats came alive with four singles and a double to make it 21-5 and another pitching change for the hapless Globe pitching staff.
Pitcher Fane was left with mop-up duty, facing 10 batters, and by the time the Vandals were finished in the sixth the score stood at 28-5.
It looked like Escobedo might pitch a complete game after striking out the first two batters of the sixth inning. But after a pair of singles by Carrillo and Durbin, Encizo slapped a long triple to right-center to make it 28-7.
A walk by Escobedo put him over his pitch count, so Miami Coach Brandon Powell brought in No. 24 Gabe Holmes, who promptly pitched Fane into a grounder to second base to end the game.
According to Maxpreps, Miami has an 11-6 record after beating St. Augustine by a score of 7-2 in Tucson on April 5. The Vandals’ next game is at home against San Miguel (10-5) on April 9 (after press time) and then at home against Morenci (6-10) at 2 p.m. on Monday, April 15.
Globe sits at 1-12 after another mercy-rule loss to Bagdad (13-4) on April 4. The Tigers play three in Tucson from April 8 (after press time) to April 10 and return home on April 12 for a 2 p.m. game with Santa Rita (0-8 as of April 8).
Miami's Tanner Peery puts down a suicide squeeze in the third inning to drive in a Vandal run.
Vandal Gabe Escobedo (12) slides in safe at third base.
Tiger Seth Durbin (right) watches a ball hit to right field as Vandal No. 20 Riley Guthery eases into second base with a double in the sixth inning.