Mustangs remain in hunt for district championship, down Griffins 12-0


The Nixon-Smiley Mustangs baseball team took the advice of the Cobra Kai on Tuesday night – they struck hard, struck fast and showed the Great Hearts Northern Oaks Griffins no mercy as they rolled to a 12-0 run-rule victory.

The Mustangs set the tone in the top of the first, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs on five hits. The scoring started with an RBI single by Brayden Martinez. Orlando Flores was caught in a rundown but was able to use his speed to outrace the throw home. Kevin Zavala drove in a run with a single and Sebastian Ortiz doubled to drive in two. Ortiz later came in to score on a double by Jeremiah Munoz

The Griffins had their best scoring chance of the night in their half of the first, as they loaded the bases with a pair of walks and an infield single, but pitcher Tyler Barillet was able to escape the jam with a three-pitch strikeout.

Martinez manufactured a run with his legs in the top of the second. After reaching base with a single, he stole both second and third base, and came home on a single by Barillet. Barillet attempted to add to the lead, but after stealing second and third base, he was nabbed trying to steal home.

Munoz and Flores pulled off a double steal and both came around to score on a throwing error in the top of the third to push the score to 10-0. The Mustangs capped the scoring in the top of the fourth when Kris Kitchens scored on a passed ball and Zavala scored on a ground out by Miguel Valerio.

Barillet was masterful on the mound. After the traffic on the basepaths in the first inning, the sophomore hurler settled in and allowed only two more baserunners the rest of the way – on a walk and an error. Barillet finished the night with five scoreless innings, allowing only one hit, while walking three and striking out seven.

The Mustangs are riding a three-game winning streak and currently a half-game out of first place. They will take on the district-leading and undefeated Marion Bulldogs in a pivotal contest Friday night in Nixon. First pitch will be at 7pm.

Pony Express runs wild on Luling

Following a rough start to the season, the Nixon-Smiley Mustangs may have found the winning spark as they picked up their second straight victory on Friday night, as they pounded out 11 hits and scored 10 runs en route to a rout over the Luling Eagles, 10-0, at the Mustangs’ home field.

Mustang pitcher Orlando Flores threw a gem against Luling, holding the Eagles to two hits on the night, while striking out five and walking only one over five scoreless innings. Flores needed only 59 pitches on the evening to pick up the complete game victory.

After a scoreless first, the ‘Stangs did work at the dish in the bottom of the second. Sebastian Ortiz drove in the first run with an infield single, plating Tyler Barillet. A single to center off the bat of Tyler Mikesh brought Kevin Zavala and Ortiz around to score, and the Mustangs threatened to add more on a single by Brayden Martinez, but Mikesh was thrown out at the plate to end the inning.

A single to center by Alex Tirado brought home another run in the bottom of the third, and another run crossed the plate in the fourth when Flores singled, stole second, moved to third on a ground out and scored on a wild pitch.

The game was ended early in the bottom of the fifth when Nixon-Smiley took advantage of wildness on the mound and out in the field by the Eagle defense. After loading the bases on free passes, Zavala scored on a passed ball, Ortiz came home via the wild pitch and Mikesh scored on a throwing error. A double by Flores and a single over a leaping third baseman by Martinez made the score 10-0 and the umpire called the game, due to the mercy-rule.

Flores also had a big night at the plate, in addition to on the mound, going 2-for-3 with two runs and an RBI. Martinez was 2-for-4 with an RBI, Barillet was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, and Jeremiah Munoz, Zavala, Ortiz, Mikesh and Tirado each had a hit in the win.

The Mustangs are 4-10 on the season, but are currently in fourth place, a half-game out of second, with a district mark of 2-1.