Bandits collapse late in loss to Ulysses
By GRANT MELIN
On the opening day of the 26th annual Clanton Memorial Baseball Tournament, the Finney County Bandits and Ulysses Tigers were only separated by one run entering the seventh inning.
But it would be Ulysses getting the last laugh as the Tigers scored 10 runs in the seventh to overcome a one run deficit and run away with a 15-6 victory over the Bandits on Friday morning at Williams Stadium.
Ulysses grabbed an early lead in the opening inning as an Emilio Ballestros double to left field scored Diego Maravilla for the game's first run. Ballestros then came home on a Rigo Martinez hit to right field and subsequent error by Bandits first baseman Jack Spellman. After a Michael Baeza walk, both Martinez and Baeza scored on a Luis Heredia single to left field to make it 4-0.
After Ulysses scored in the third inning on a Heredia groundout to score Ballestros, the fourth inning was when the Bandits began to climb back into the game. After a Spellman triple to left field, a throwing error to first base by Ulysses pitcher Mason Chavez allowed Michael Calderon to reach first base and send home Spellman for the Bandits first run. Calderon scored off a Lorenzo Hinojos hit to right field to make it 5-2 Ulysses after the fourth inning.
In the fifth, the Bandits kept on scoring, first with Irvy Hernandez coming home after a Martin Terrazas flyout to centerfield, followed by Derek Cook on a Spellman hit, also to centerfield. Spellman and Calderon then scored, again off a throwing error by Ulysses shortstop Maravilla to allow the Bandits to take a 6-5.
However, the seventh inning would revive Ulysses and eventually doom the Bandits. First, Chavez came home off a Maravilla double to left field to tie the game. Then Martinez, Baeza, Heredia, Kyler Gilbert, Brian Montoya, and Adrian Porras all scored runs by taking advantage of several wild pitches to overwhelm the Bandits. Chavez and Maravilla both followed and scored again in the inning to cap off the big comeback.
"I usually tell our kids that it's not over till the seventh inning or if the umpire says game," said Ulysses head coach Marcus Chavez. "We started pretty strong and then kind of fell off for a couple innings. They came back around and we came out on top."
For Bandits head coach Joe Kraft, the last inning left a bitter taste for the team.
"We battled back into it and went up by one run, but in the last inning we had an opportunity to settle down," Kraft said. "But we couldn't take care of the baseball and get ahead in the count and the opportunity just drifted away from us."
The fifth inning, in spite of the loss, helped the Bandits keep their composure.
"The inning gave us a little bit of a morale boost," Kraft said. "It gave us an opportunity to get our pitch back in the game, and that's part of the baseball anyway we can stay in the game that will give us a bonus."
Ulysses Tigers 15, FC Bandits 6
Ulysses 401 000 (10) — 15 11 2
FC Bandits 000 240 0 — 6 6 4
WP--Martinez; LP--Laureles. Ulysses--Chavez, Martinez, and Baeza; FC Bandits--Laureles, Terrazas, Snodgrass, and Calderon.
2B--Ulysses (Ballestros, Maravilla, Porras); 3B--Ulysses (Maravilla), FC Bandits (Spellman).