STANFIELD — The Stanfield Tigers won in walk-off style Tuesday against Horizon Christian, but it wasn’t your typical come-from-behind clincher that sparks a celbration at home plate.
Dominic Renner’s slicing ground ball along the foul side of the first base line with one out in the bottom of the fifth inning skipped around Horizon Christian first baseman Jake Wells and back into fair territory. Jacob Murstig trotted home as the ball came to rest gently in the outfield grass to give the Tigers a 12-2 victory in a 10-run rule shortened game.
“Dominic really put some English on that one,” Stanfield coach Bryan Johnson said. “The bottom line is if you put the ball in play at this level, good things are going to happen.”
Stanfield didn’t score all of its runs on Horizon Christian mishaps, though. Michael Martinez slugged a pair of balls 300-plus feet to the outfield fences, including a triple in the fourth inning that was the highlight of a seven-run inning.
The first baseman — who has a body of a first baseman — squared up the first pitch he saw in the plate appearance and lofted it to right field. Aided by a stiff breeze in that direction the ball rolled into the corner, and with it, Marinez around second base.
“It was quite the sight to see coach Johnson waving me to third after I touched second base,” Marinez said light heartedly. “I guess I’ll just keep running but I’m going to be tired.”
Martinez went 2 for 3 at the plate with three RBIs and also added a walk. He pitched the final inning of the game for the Tigers in relief.
Ross Mendiola and Devin Haefer each tacked on two hits — Mendiola’s contributing a pair of RBIs — and Tyler Renner and Travis Ables each drew three walks.
Max Totaro owned the only mutli-hit game for the Hawks who were held to just four hits.
Stanfield’s top pitcher Devin Bailey, who missed several games with tightness in his right forearm, started the game for the Tigers on the mound but threw just two innings. Bailey said the arm feels fine now and he expects to pitch in the team’s conference opener this Saturday in Pilot Rock. The 33-pitch outing Tuesday was purely precautionary.
“I have total confidence in our team but it was tough to have to watch from the dugout,” Bailey said.
Bailey gave up one run in the first inning before settling down in the second to retire the side in order, including two strike outs.