Yuma High School’s baseball team made its way into the postseason, despite finishing with a 7-9 record in Season D.
However, the Tribe’s stay was short-lived as they were knocked out by 13th-seed Rye, on an extremely hot and windy afternoon, this past Tuesday in Wray, finishing with a 7-10 mark.
The Indians were No. 21 in the Class 2A Rating Percentage Index when the final ratings came out Sunday morning. Dawson School dropped out, moving Yuma up to No. 20 in the 24-team regional field.
That meant the Indians avoided a seven-hour trip to seventh-seed Hotchkiss for regional, instead sending them back east on Highway 34 to nearby fourth-seed and undefeated Wray, where the Indians had just played on Saturday.
It turns out it did not help in the final outcome, but at least the Tribe did not have a long bus trip back home — and can begin looking forward to better things in the 2022 season.
It did not help Wray, either, as Rye came east and conquered Yuma County, also knocking off Wray, 4-3, in the regional final.
Fittingly, Yuma’s inability to consistently come up with hits with runners in scoring position played a key role in Tuesday’s season-ending outcome. The Tribe left 11 baserunners stranded, scoring only one run in the first six innings. On the other hand, Rye left 10 on base, but came up with 11 hits compared to Yuma’s seven.
The Tribe struck first, with John Smith scoring on a single by Andre Baucke (who finished the season on a hot streak at the plate), in the top of the first.
However, Rye came into the game with a team batting average of .384, and immediately got the bats going in the bottom half. A double and three singles led to the Thunderbolts plating four runs. Three more hits led to two more runs in the second, and Rye added two more in the third to put Yuma in an 8-1 hole. A double and two singles in the fifth made it 9-1.
Meanwhile, the Indians kept leaving runners on base in the third, fourth and fifth.
There was a long delay in the heat and wind in the bottom of the sixth when a Rye player was hit by a pitch in the neck/head area, and had to be taken away in the ambulance. (He was conscious when he left the field, and it obviously is hoped the young man is okay.)
Despite that experience, and trailing by eight runs, the Tribe still mounted a rally in the top of the seventh.
Smith reached on a fielder’s choice, and scored on Trejo’s double to deep left. Baucke reached on an error. Victor Perez reached on an error that scored Trejo. Baucke then scored on Kevin Hermosillo’s double to right-center to make it 9-4.
The Indians had the bases loaded when the game ended on a groundout to second.
Trejo had a double and scored one run, Hermosillo a double and one RBI, Smith one hit and two runs, Baucke one hit, one RBI and one run, Kobe Rayl one hit, Jose Ruiz one hit, and Perez one hit.
The Indians had only one senior on the 2021 team, Cade Morton, and he missed the last week of the season with a broken thumb.
With everyone else returning, and other players coming up through the ranks, it is hoped the Indians can get back to winning records in the near future.
Wray double dip
The Indians closed out the regular season at the same location, Baker Field, for two against the undefeated Eagles.
They were thumped 13-3 in the first game, but nearly pulled off the upset in the nightcap, with the Eagles matching Yuma’s seventh-inning rally to pull out a 10-9 win and finish the regular season without a loss.
Wray got on top in the opener with two runs in the bottom of the first.
Yuma answered with one run in the second when Ruiz walked and scored on Kevin Hermosillo’s single.
However, a walk and an error opened the door to a five-run rally in the home half. The Eagles did most of the heavy lifting, hitting four singles and a double.
The Indians got a run in the third. Rayl hit a lead-off double to center and scored on Baucke’s single. They added another run in the fifth when Smith reached on a walk and scored on another Baucke single.
It was not nearly enough, though, for a Wray attack that racked up 16 hits, including three doubles and one home run.
Yuma ended up with four hits. Baucke had two of them, along with two RBI, Rayl a double and one run, Hermosillo one hit and one RBI, and Smith one run. Trejo took the pitching loss.
Game 2 turned out to be a thriller, but ending in bitter disappointment for the Tribe.
Lefty Conner Lynch kept the Eagles’ potent bats mostly silent, allowing only three singles and three runs through four innings.
Yuma finally pushed across two runs in the top of the fifth. Perez walked and scored. Hermosillo hit a single, and scored on Escobar’s single, making it 3-2.
Wray answered with two runs in the home half off of just one single, a throwing error, a walk and two hit batters helping the Eagles’ cause. They pushed across another run in the sixth for a 6-2 lead.
However, the Indians then put up an incredible two-out rally in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead. It started with Trejo getting hit by a pitch. Baucke hit a double to drive him in, then Ruiz followed with a two-run homer to left to pull Yuma to within one, 6-5. Perez and Hermosillo hit back-to-back singles, then walks and errors allowed those two, as well as Lynch and Escobar to score. The Indians could have added more as the bases were loaded when the rally ended on a pop-up to third base.
Three outs, and the Indians would hand their archrival their first and only loss of the regular season.
It was not meant to be, however, as Wray tied the score on three singles. There were two outs with the bases loaded when a hit by pitch drove in the winning run.
Both teams had eight hits and each committed two errors.
Lynch allowed three earned runs over four innings on three singles and three walks, striking out four. Rayl pitched one inning, and Smith went the last 1-2/3s, ending up as the hard-luck loser.
Baucke had another two hits, including a double, with one RBI and one run, Ruiz had the two-run homer, Hermosillo two hits and two runs, Escobar one hit, two RBI and one run, Perez one hit and two runs, Lynch one hit and one RBI, Smith one RBI, and Bridger Lynch one run as a courtesy runner for C. Lynch.
The Yuma High School JV baseball team lost 18-3 to Burlington, last Friday.
Jake Hagemeir had one run, Jose Ruiz one hit and one run, Carson Lynch one hit, Trey Stegman one hit and one run, Nathan Etl one hit and three RBI, and Carlos Wario one hit.
It was the JV team’s last game of the season.