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During the second inning, burroughs baseball head coach john bradley told his younger players in the dugout that any mojave river league contest the burros will play has the potential to be one- or two-run games.

Case in point, the burros recovered from a three-run deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning, bryson hertz’s seeing-eyed single sending home james stoner to give burroughs an 8-7 win over oak hills in the opening day of the mojave river league tournament on friday.

“the competition in the MRL is always good,” bradley said. “oak hills is a good team, randy does a good job, no doubt. This is a huge confidence builder for us. At the end of the day, our kids are a scrappy bunch. We have a lot of guys in the game, and that’s the way it’s going to be all year. It’s not going to just be the guys in the middle of the lineup.

The game is won by 13 or 14 guys in the dugout.”

Call it a bit of retribution.Bradley said in his previous at-bat, in the sixth inning, hertz came up with the bases loaded and lined a shot to shallow center field. While initially, it appeared that the ball skipped off the ground and under the fielder, the umpires ruled the ball caught, thus retiring the side.

“that tore me down, so I said that I had to do it again,” hertz said. “I come up in the seventh inning, I was due, so I pulled the trigger on that pitch.”

John bike’s first-pitch solo shot to right-center cut oak hills’ deficit in half in the fourth inning, but the burros answered back in the bottom of the frame, when camron goeppinger’s single brought home vigneault and jordan chatman.

“we relied on getting some ground balls,” bradley said. “we had three errors in the fifth inning. That’s not the time to boot baseballs. We have momentum, and that’s the time to keep momentum going. But we kept them where we needed to keep them.”

james stoner

Meanwhile, the burros’ bats went quiet. There were plenty of attempts to use small-ball to regain momentum, but oak hills carried it heading into the game’s final stretch.

“the short game didn’t work well for us today,” bradley said. “we got quite a few timely hits today with two strikes, which is impressive because we work on two-strike adjustments every day in BP. I was pleased with that. I’m not pleased with the short game, the sac bunt or the push bunt, but we’re going to be better at it.”

Oak hills took the lead in the top of the seventh, scoring three via an error and a two-run double by julian macias. The burros entered their final opportunity, down 7-4, with the meat of the order coming up to bat.

The first three batters reached base to load them up. Stoner was hit by a pitch, sending cracraft home. Lee cox then reached base on a slow roller back to the mound, scoring hernandez. Goeppinger’s groundout brought jacob kelley (pinch-running for vigneault) home, tying the game at 7.Burroughs baseball

Chase cracraft started the game and pitched six innings, allowed one earned run and struck out four in 103 pitches. James stoner faced two bulldogs in relief, and chatman pitched the remaining inning.

“these guys get excited once MRL starts,” bradley said. “they’re all geared up and they all want to win the league title. It’s one of those things when league hits, they click a button and flip a switch and get going.”

“the best thing to do is forget about this, (we) can’t take this into the next game,” he said. “then just go out there, and do it all over again.”