Tribe snaps skid with exciting sweep

Yuma High School’s baseball team has given itself a chance at qualifying for the postseason following a hard-fought sweep of the visiting Burlington Cougars, Wednesday afternoon at Tribe Field.
The Indians remain at the friendly confines for their next four games; Sedgwick County comes to town for a double dip on Saturday, followed by Holyoke on Tuesday.

Yuma sits at 4-6 after the 4-3, 10-9 wins over Burlington, which came to Tribe Field with a 7-2 record. Yuma moved up several spots in the Class 2A Rating Percentage Index, to No. 19 as of Thursday. The top 24 in the RPI qualify for regional later this month, with the top eight hosting three-team tournaments.

Kobe Rayl, Yahir Trejo and John Smith celebrate the Tribe’s walk-off win over Burlington to complete the sweep of the Cougars, Wednesday afternoon at Tribe Field. (Tim Sprouse)

The Tribe have a fighting chance to improve on their win total during the current homestand. Sedgwick County is 4-7-1 and No. 30 in the RPI, and Holyoke is winless and No. 41 in the RPI.
Nothing has come easy for the 2021 Tribe, except for the season-opening sweep of Akron, so it needs to be on top of its game if it wants to build a winning streak.
It definitely was not easy snapping a six-game losing streak Wednesday against the Cougars, but the Indians were able to come through in clutch moments.
Yahir Trejo threw a strong 4-1/3 innings in the opener, allowing just one run on four hits, striking out five and walking two before exiting with one out in the top of the fifth.
He was in line for the pitching win as the Indians scored two in the bottom of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. John Smith led off with a walk, followed by Trejo helping his own cause with a single. Smith scored on a passed ball, but Trejo was thrown out at home trying to score on Jose Ruiz’s fielder’s choice. However, Ruiz got to second and scored on consecutive passed balls.
Kobe Rayl took the pill from Trejo with one out in the top of the fifth and one on. He was able to maintain the lead with a strikeout and groundout.
Third baseman Jose Ruiz pulls in a pop-up while crowded by short stop Yahir Trejo, Wednesday against Burlington at Tribe Field. (Tim Sprouse)
However, an infield error followed by a two-run homer to right field by G Roybal handed the lead back to Burlington, 3-2, in the top of the sixth. Yuma was able to avoid further damage with a strikeout and a 6-4-3 double play.
The Indians then regained the lead in the home half. Rayl was hit by a pitch to lead off the at-bat. Trejo reached base one out later, and Rayl advanced to third. Andre Baucke then laid down a beautiful bunt and Rayl slid safely into home. Trejo then scored on Jose Ruiz’s single to left, but Hugo Montes, courtesy running for Baucke, was tagged out at home, missing an opportunity to take a two-run lead.
The Tribe then gutted out a hairy top of the seventh. It started with a strikeout, but Burlington’s next batter, H. Tracy, reached on a throwing error. Following another strikeout and then a base on balls, Burlington had runners on the corners with two outs.
However, Rayl was able to induce Michael Gutierrez into a groundout to first base, with Rayl barely beating Gutierrez to the bag after getting the toss from Baucke.
Yuma managed to snap its six-game skid despite recording only two hits, singles by Trejo and Ruiz, and striking out 12 times. Rayl, Smith, Trejo and Ruiz scored. Burlington had five hits and struck out nine times.
Rayl ended up with the pitching win, allowing two runs, one earned, on one hit, striking out four and walking two over 2-2/3 innings.
A sweep seemed unlikely as the Tribe fell behind 5-1 after four innings in the nightcap. Yuma’s only run came courtesy of Cade Morton in the third.
Cade Morton tags out a Burlington baserunner who got caught in a pickle between first and second, Wednesday at Tribe Field. (Tim Sprouse)

It was 5-2 when Burlington pushed across three runs in the sixth for an 8-2 run. Somehow, though, the Tribe was able to get back into it with four runs in the home half. Victor Perez led off with a single, but the next two batters struck out. Cade Morton came through with a single, and Rayl drove in Perez. Morton scored on a wild pitch, and Smith reached on a walk. Rayl and Smith then scored on a Burlington error, pulling to within two, 8-6.
Burlington was able to push across one run in the top of the seventh for a 9-6 lead, but Angel Escobar got two strikeouts to limit the damage.

Baucke then led off Yuma’s last at-bat with a single, followed by Ruiz’s double to left. Perez drew a walk to load the bases, and Hermosillo followed with another walk to score Baucke. A walk to Morton then drove in Ruiz, leaving Yuma behind 9-8.
Burlington made a pitching change, but Rayl drove a 2-1 pitch up the middle to score Perez and Hermosillo for the walk-off win, setting off a fun celebration by the Tribe.
Angel Escobar delivers a pitch during the comeback win over Burlington, Wednesday at Tribe Field. (Tim Sprouse)
Escobar took over on the hill in a tough situation late in the game and ended up with the pitching win, striking out two. Conner Lynch, Smith and Baucke also pitched. Burlington had only four hits, but 11 walks and four Yuma errors helped the run output.
The Indians also benefitted from six errors by the Cougars, but also finally broke out the bats with 11 hits, though they still struck out nine times.
Baucke had three hits, Smith two hits, including a double, and one run, Rayl two hits, three RBI and one run, Morton two hits, one RBI and three runs, Ruiz a double and one run, Perez one hit and two runs, Hermosillo one RBI and one run, Trejo one RBI, and Montes one run.