Just when the San Manuel Miners boys’ baseball team thought they were going to sweep their way through the Globe-Miami area the Miami Vandals gave them a dose of their own medicine, delivering a mercy-rule shutdown of the Miners in a 6-inning home tilt in Miami.
The Friday evening game came three days after San Manuel pummeled Globe by a score of 13-0 and Miami was in the midst of a 4-1 run dating back to a double-header in Tucson during Spring Break on March 15.
The Miners were on a similar streak, although they lost to Superior on March 14 for a record of 4-2 in the previous six games.
It looked as if San Manuel was going to run away with this one too, when leadoff batter No. 7 Saul Quijada beat out a grounder for a single. An error, a steal and a single by Miner No. 13 Louis Chavez put San Manuel up 1-0 and with runners on first and second, beefy Miner third baseman No. 15 Christian Estrada took a pitch by Vandal pitcher No. 37 Ryan Powell deep over the centerfield fence for a 4-0 Miner lead.
A scoreless bottom of the first was an inauspicious beginning, but in the Miami half of the second, the Vandals began to claw back with a run to make the score 4-1.
San Manuel answered in the top of the third as did Miami in the bottom of the frame for a 5-2 Miner lead.
The bottom of the fourth was when the Vandals finally began to put it all together and hang some runs on the scoreboard with the help of wildness by Miner pitcher No. 12 Isaiah Sanchez and several Miner miscues.
The rally began with a walk to No. 11 Matheu Escobedo. An error on a pickoff attempt and a passed ball put Escobedo on third base and a single by No. 2 Jayden Goss made it 5-3 Miners/ but the Vandals weren’t finished yet. Goss stole second on a strikeout by No. 9 Langdon Koyayseva, and a single by Powell put Miami within one at 5-4.
With two outs and a runner on first, Miami No. 1 Gabe Escobedo hit a lazy popup to Miner leftfielder No. 2 Julian Rodriguez who dropped the ball and was subsequently carted off the field. The runner scored to tie the game at 5 each and No. 14 Matt Riddle drove in the go-ahead run for a Vandal lead of 6-5.
The top of the fifth saw the second injury of the game, as Vandal catcher No. 12 Tyree Koyayseva was hit in the face by a ball. There was a 20-minute delay as paramedics from Tri-City Fire attended to Koyayseva and the Miners scored a run to even the score at 6-6.
But in the bottom of the frame, the floodgates opened for the Vandals, who scored four runs to take a 10-6 lead. The inning slipped away from the Miners, who helped Miami with errors and pitching mistakes. Vandal No. 3 Tanner Peery proved to be a sparkplug for the team, taking over at second base and providing a jolt of energy on offense, particularly in the bottom of the sixth.
With a score of 10-7, the Vandals came to bat with Chavez on the mound for San Manuel.
Peery started the 7-run, game-ending rally by taking second on an error by Chavez.
No. 20 Riley Guthery hit a single for runners on first and third. An error on a pickoff scored Peery and a series of walks, errors and Vandal hits plated six more, for a mercy rule victory of 17-7 for Miami.
According to Miami Principal Glen Lineberry, Koyayseva has not suffered any ill effects from his injury and will not miss any playing time. The status of the Miner player is unknown at this time.
On Saturday in Miami, the Vandals beat Desert Christian by a score of 12-3, taking their record to 9-6 and 7-0 in the 3A South section, according to Maxpreps. The next game for the Vandals is against Globe on Tuesday, April 2 (after press time).
EMTs from Tri-City Fire take Miami catcher Tyree Koyayseva off the field after he was hit in the face with a ball. According to Miami’s Principal Glen Lineberry, Koyayseva is okay.