Week 11 of the Mavericks League provided some firsts for the league and season. The first walk-off win of the season, the first player to record a home run and be credited with the win, season debuts from a few players, and it all ended with standings still looking crowded.
Only 2.5 games separate the top of the league from the bottom with just five weeks left to play, as well as a few makeup games that still need to be scheduled.
The Volcanoes (16-14) and Mavericks (17-15) are still virtually tied, with the Volcanoes holding a narrow edge in winning percentage still.
Meanwhile, the Campesinos (14-15) and Senators (14-17) are still right in the thick of the race after a thrill-filled week 11.
Thursday, July 21
A rough start ended with excitement and joy for the first-place Volcanoes in Thursday’s walk-off win against the Senators — the first walk-off this season in the Mavericks League.
Jacobi Allen’s sacrifice fly brought in Jose Villa to end the night, and cap off a four-run comeback for the Volcanoes to win 9-8.
It was Allen’s second RBI of the night. Villa also had two RBIs, knocking in one with a double in the bottom of the ninth.
Carlos Cuevas, in his first Mavericks League game, was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.
Arian Castro and Quentin Alexander also made their debuts on Thursday for the Volcanoes, each with an RBI and run scored.
The Volcanoes bullpen combined to allow just one run in five innings after Garrett Alvarez struggled initially in just his fourth appearance and second start of the Mavericks League season. Alvarez allowed seven runs, six earned, in four innings.
Things looked like they could have been worse for him though.
After the first four Senators batters reached base, two coming around to score, Volcanoes manager Tony Torcato came to the mound to talk to Alvarez. Whatever Torcato said to him worked for the moment, as Alvarez responded with a strikeout and double play to get out of the inning.
But the Senators weren’t done. They scored in each of the first five innings, including three in the second, and were up 8-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth.
The top of the order showed why they were there for the Senators. Dylan Moser, Garrett Keuber and Edgar Vela, the first three batters in the lineup, went 9-for-13 with six RBIs and five runs scored while no other Senators had multiple hits. Keuber had three RBIs and three runs scored.
The loss makes seven in a row for the Senators (12-17) now as they continue to slide down further in the Mavericks League standings, 4.5 games behind the first place Volcanoes (16-12).
Friday, July 22
The defending champion Campesinos are on the upswing, winning their fifth game in a row on Friday.
Thanks to three home runs, the ‘Sinos opened their week with a 9-5 win over the Mavericks.
The Campesinos scored five in the fifth inning behind home runs from Danny Alvarado and Drew Bayard, the third of the season for both Alvarado and Bayard.
Bryce Bruggemeyer joined in with a long ball of his own in the seventh.
For the Mavericks, Victor Diaz had the only three RBIs of the game, as the other two runs scored were unearned.
The Campesinos survived four errors on the day which brought in most of the Mavericks’ runs, and will look to settle things down in the field heading into the weekend.
Saturday, July 23
Chris Bessard may have only had two at-bats on Saturday, but he made the most of them.
Bessard was 2-for-2 with three RBIs in the Mavericks 6-4 win against the Campesinos, breaking the ‘Sinos five-game win streak.
He opened things up in the first inning with a two-run double, and the Mavericks never looked back.
Bessard added an RBI single in the third to make it 3-0.
The Campesinos were able to make it a game, cutting a five-run deficit down to two, but that was as close as things would get Saturday.
The Senators were finally able to snap their seven-game losing streak on Saturday against the Volcanoes.
Two runs in the first put them up early, and the Senators never looked back in the 7-2 win, their first since July 3 against the Volcanoes.
Most of the action came early in Saturday night’s contest, with the Senators up 6-1 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
At the top of the order for the Senators, Dylan Moser, Garrett Keuber and Edgar Vela all went 2-for-5. Moser had two RBIs while Keuber and Vela each had one RBI and two runs scored.
Carlos Cuevas continued his hot debut for the Volcanoes. After going 2-for-4 in his Mavericks League debut Thursday, Cuevas was 3-for-4 with a run scored Saturday night.
Sunday, July 24
Jeff Disla accomplished something very few can claim in a league with a designated hitter. On Sunday, Disla homered and recorded the win on the mound for the Senators against the Volcanoes in a 12-11, 12-inning saga.
His day started in centerfield, as it normally does. In the fourth inning, Disla’s two-run shot put the Senators up 5-3. But there was plenty of game left.
With the game knotted at 11 heading into the bottom of the ninth, Senators manager Dave Wong brough Disla into pitch.
It was Disla’s first appearance as a pitcher in the season, but he showed no signs of nerves. He put up four scoreless innings, retiring the first nine batters he faced in order.
In the 12th inning, the inning starts with a man on second. The Senators took advantage.
Edgar Vela hit a deep sac fly to right field that advanced Garrett Keuber, the lead run, 90 feet from home.
After T.J. Wheeler struck out, Joe Starrick came through with a clutch double that brought Keuber home with the eventual game-winning run.
In the bottom half of the inning, Disla responded to the pressure. He walked the lead off man to put runners on first and second, but then induced a double play ball from Jose Villa.
After an intentional walk to Carlos Cuevas, Disla didn’t have to do much.
Cuevas, who made his league debut in this series, had been hot, going 5-for-8 in the first two games. Sunday was a different story. Cuevas was 0-for-5, and then in an inexplicable move, was thrown out trying to steal second to end the game with the tying run on third.
The Campesinos scored five runs in the sixth to close out the week with a win on Sunday.
Four of the five Campesinos runs in the inning were unearned after a two-out error by Mavericks third baseman Victor Diaz on a Drew Bayard ground ball that brought home two runs.
Diaz had given the Mavericks a 3-2 lead in the fifth inning with an RBI groundout. But his error made it 5-3 Campesinos, and the next batter, Josh Rego, singled in two more to make it 7-3.