Patrick Chung is greeted by multiple teammates after scoring a run in the first inning (KEIZERTIMES/Matt Rawlings).
No matter who they are playing, the Campesinos pride themselves on always bringing their A-game.
Nick Ybarra and Rick Phillips each had three hits and two RBIs as the Campesinos defeated the Senators 14-6 on Friday, Aug. 6, maintaining their stranglehold on the first-place spot in the Mavericks League.
“They don't give anything away, it doesn't matter who we are playing. We are always just trying to go out and do the things we need to do and play the game the right way,” Campesinos manager Daniel Robertson said.
After the Senators got on the board in the top of the first on an RBI-triple by Blayze Arcano-Liacuna, the Campesinos took advantage of a pair of Senators errors in the bottom half of the frame to score five runs in the inning. Trevor Morrison came through with the key hit of the inning, lining a two-run single to center field.
“Teams make errors and good teams take advantage of it. That is what we did tonight,” Robertson said.
Despite being up by four runs, looks of concern fell on the faces of those in the Campesinos dugout when one of their top starting pitchers, Eli Fultz, was taken out of the game after 1.2 innings due to a tricep injury in his throwing arm.
“Hopefully he can get healthy soon because he is the heart and soul of what we do,” Robertson said of Fultz.
Fortunately for the Campesinos, their bullpen stepped up in a major way. Jacob Asa, Fernando Rosales, Von Aulger and Christian Herrera combined to throw 7.1 innings in relief and gave up just one earned run.
“It is no surprise to me that our bullpen jells together so well,” Robertson said.
The Senators cut the lead to 5-3 in the top of the second. But after a trio of scoreless frames, the Campesinos hung a crooked number on the board in the bottom of the fifth.
After Campesinos catcher Sergio Rey was hit with a pitch to lead off the inning, eight-hole hitter Drew Bayard clobbered a two-run homer to right field to put the Campesinos up 7-3.
“(Bayard) is a very intricate part of our offense. It's a pleasure to watch him play,” Robertson said. “We are very lucky to have him hit in that spot because he's not an eight-hole hitter. In any other lineup, he would be somewhere else, but it's so comforting to put a guy down there knowing that you are going to get a great at-bat.”
Later in the inning, Collin Runge blasted a two-run homer of his own to complete the five-run frame for the Campesinos to put his team on top 10-3.
Salem pushed across a pair of unearned runs in the top of the sixth to get within five, but a two-run single by Ybarra in the bottom of the frame extended the Campesinos lead to 12-5.
In the following frame, Morrison hit a mammoth solo homer deep into the night sky into right field that nearly reached the freeway. An RBI-double by Phillips in the bottom of the eighth capped off the scoring for the Campesinos.
Since the beginning of the season, Robertson knew his team was talented, but he believes that it has been the squad's camaraderie that has helped them achieve significant success this summer – the Campesinos have an eight-game lead in the Mavericks League standings.
“The way they treat each other is just uncanny. That day-in and day-out love they have for each other is really something special,” Robertson said.
Matt Rawlings: [email protected]