Marquez’s strong start not enough against Mildred
EUSTACE–The Eustace Bulldogs lost the rubber match March 26 at home against the Mildred Eagles in their district opener.
The Eagles got on base early with a one-out walk in the top of the first inning. An error at second base put runners on the corners with one out. On a double steal attempt, the Bulldogs’ defense was able to tag out the runner between third base and home plate to prevent the runner from scoring and getting the second out of the inning.
Despite the stellar defense of Eustace, the Eagles picked up a run on a flair to right center to take a 1-0 lead after the top of the first inning.
After a scoreless bottom half of the inning and the Eagles being held off the board in the top of the second inning, the Bulldogs tried to claw back into the contest as their offense tried to plate a run.
After a one-out walk and the runner advancing to second base on a wild pitch, Trey Oakley drew a walk for the Bulldogs to put runners on first and second with two outs. Cade Adair smashed the ball hard, but right to an Eagle outfielder to end the inning with Eustace still trailing 1-0.
Eustace starting pitcher Sam Marquez allowed just a two-out single in the top of the third, but the Bulldogs stranded Kole Graham at second base after a one-out double.
After a two-base error put an Eagle runner on second base, Marquez struck out the next Mildred batter. With one out in the inning, the Eagles delivered with an RBI single to increase their lead to 2-0. After another strikeout for the second out of the inning, Marquez couldn’t escape the inning without surrendering one more run on a wild pitch as the Eagles led 3-0 after 3.5 innings.
The Eagles put together back-to-back one-out hits in the top of the fifth inning to end the night for Marquez as David Gilbreath took the mound in relief for the Bulldogs.
With runners on first and second base with one out, Gilbreath forced an infield popup and the Eagles ran into an out on the bases after the baserunner attempted to advance to third base on what he thought was ball four before being tagged out in a rundown.
Despite a strong relief performance from Gilbreath in the top of the fifth inning, the Bulldogs’ offense went down in order in the bottom half of the inning as they trailed 3-0 after five innings.
Despite a leadoff single from Graham to begin the bottom of the sixth inning for the Bulldogs, the Eagles turned a 6-4-3 double play on the very next pitch before striking out the final batter in the sixth inning.
The Bulldogs once again went down in order in the bottom of the seventh inning as they failed to score a run in their 3-0 district-opening loss to the Eagles Tuesday night.
The loss drops Eustace to 0-1 to begin district play as they look to get back on the right track April 2 on the road against the Malakoff Tigers with first pitch for the varsity contest scheduled for 7 p.m. at Malakoff High School.