Imperial Tigers rally to beat Southwest Eagles
Imperial High's Michael Leyvas delivers against Southwest High on Tuesday in Imperial. (FERNANDO ACOSTA JR. PHOTO / May 15, 2012)
“It’s a big win for us tonight,” first-year Imperial head coach Stewart Harvey said. “Tonight we capitalized on their mistakes.
“I thought that at the plate we didn’t battle so well early on, but later we did,” he said. “Southwest has got a very good ball club; it was something that worked out in our favor, so I’ll take it.”
The Eagles kicked things off in the very first inning, utilizing singles to left field by Gio Leon and Ricardo Vargas to score Carlos Salgado and Leon, respectively.
Southwest increased its lead to 3-0 in the second inning when Leon hit a ground out to shortstop that scored Daniel Navarro.
Eagles pitcher Robert Beltran stifled the Tigers offensively until the fourth inning, when a ground out to second base by David Sanchez scored Hector Mellos to spark a four-run lead change.
Singles to center field by Forrest Mauldin and Matt Ortega scored Dominic Paramo and Juan Valdez, respectively.
Marc Benedict then scored off a ground out by David Felix to give Imperial a 4-3 lead it would never relinquish.
Neither Beltran nor Imperial pitcher Michael Leyvas allowed another run in the game, as Mellos came in to close the game in the top of the seventh.
Leyvas recorded the win with two strikeouts, three walks and three earned runs on seven hits in six innings.
“I was really upset with that shaky start in the first inning, but I just got back up there knowing my defense was behind me,” Leyvas said. “I felt confident that we could do it.”
Imperial’s defensive effort forced Southwest to record 10 runners left on base for the game as they failed to record a hit past the fourth inning.
“The key was for me was keeping it inside because they were hitting the outside balls, and allowing no more walks by keeping my balance,” Leyvas said.
Mauldin, a sophomore, led the Tigers at the plate with two singles and one RBI. Southwest’s offense was led by Leon (two singles, two RBIs).
Imperial (12-11, 4-7 IVL) will finish out the season at Calexico High at 3:15 p.m. Thursday while Southwest (15-11, 5-6 IVL) plays at Holtville High at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
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