Daniel Karl
ASU Student Journalist

Baseball: Tempe gets back on track

March 4, 2017 by Daniel Karl, Arizona State University

The Tempe Buffaloes defeated the Cortez Colts 12-2 Thursday, as the game ended in the fifth inning due to the mercy rule.

The Colts scored first, when Alex Chavez scored on a wild pitch to go up 1-0. But from there on out it was all Buffaloes.

Tempe responded in the bottom half of the inning with two runs of its own, with Pablo Villela and Martin Gonzalez each recording an RBI.

“Once we started to get out in front early in the game, they fed off of the momentum and they just kept pushing forward,” Tempe head coach Bryan Maxwell said.  “I was real pleased with how they played throughout the entire game.”

Tempe piled onto its lead as its bats got hot in the second inning. 

Three singles by the Buffaloes led to three RBIs, which put the game out of hand quickly. Not only were the bats connecting, Tempe’s pitching looked like it was already in mid-season form, even though it was just the second game of the regular season.

Martin Gonzales, Tempe’s starting pitcher, went 3 2/3 innings with five strikeouts, three hits and two runs allowed

“I’ve improved since the first game I pitched, and I’m hoping to keep playing like I did today,” Gonzales said.

In 1 1/3 innings pitched, Dominic Murillo of Tempe got out of a bases loaded jam and did not allow a single hit in relief.

The Colts are off to an 0-2 start, but that doesn't disappoint head coach Beau Polvorosa.

“The good thing about baseball is there is always the next day,” he said. “The season is never done and over with, based off of one performance.”

As for the Buffs’, they are 1-1, having losit their first regular season game to the McClintock Chargers.

They also went 0-4 in a preseason invitational tournament, getting outscored 34-8.

“One of the things is the energy and the fact we were at home for the first time," Maxwell said. "I think that makes a big difference. They get excited to play on this yard and it showed.”

Tempe scored more runs in five innings on Thursday than it did in the previous five games combined.

“They know that they’re talented enough to be in the games,” Maxwell said. “We just have to keep building and keep this momentum going and keep working hard every day.”

Tempe batted around the order in the fourth inning as it put up six runs, including a two RBI double by Daniel Muniz, who was then brought home on an RBI double by Villela. 

Gonzales added, “We’re working more as a team. We just had to work out those kinks we had in the beginning.  Moving on, we need to keep on practicing and work on what we need to do.”

The Buffaloes get the weekend off, as their next game is Tuesday against the Dysart Demons.

As for the Colts, they have a quick break before facing Marcos de Niza on Friday.