The well-matched Chili Poppers and Unloaded battled to a 6-6 tie in Friday evening’s City Softball League Coed D division match-up. With one more at-bat, the Poppers stepped up with 3 runs to claim the win in the final day of play before the championship tournament series.
Tournament action for the division starts this Friday at 6 p.m.
The Poppers took the early lead in the bottom of the first inning. With two runners on, Alonso Talamantes slammed the ball deep into the outfield, emptying the bases and putting the team up 3-0.
Dwayne Morton brought Unloaded back with a vengeance on a double. Carrie Jones singled; Gabe Distel brought Morton home to put Unloaded on the scoreboard.
With just one out and two runners primed to score, Victor Brown tripled in 2 runs to tie the game 3-all.
Maria Paco singled; Randy Bengochia brought Brown home. Star Huarte got tagged at first on a fielder’s choice but Paco made it home closing out the inning with the 5-run limit.
The Poppers had nothing in response, going three-up/three-down in the bottom of the second. Down by 2 runs going into the bottom of the third, Jose Rico hit an in-the-park homer, narrowing the lead 4-5.
Two singles and a walk loaded up the bases for the Poppers, setting the stage for a charge on the lead.
Bethie Haifley-Langrehr and Laco Rico singled in a run each to give a slim 6-5 lead back to the Poppers.
And that’s where the score stayed until the final open fifth inning.
Unloaded’s Brown singled, then tried for home on a series of defensive errors. His luck and the errors ran out at home plate. Paco doubled, Bengochia singled, Huarte walked to load the bases. A sacrifice fly brought Paco home to tie the game 6-all. The final out ended what looked like a strong Unloaded surge.
The Poppers did what they had to do in the bottom of the fifth. With hits from David Rico, Jose Rico, Yonnie Gruber, Martin Rico and Amber Spratt, the team racked up 3 runs to pull out the win.