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Aztecs done in by strikeouts

SAN BERNARDINO • The Barstow High School baseball team suffered its first loss of the season on Thursday, dropping a 6-3 decision to San Gorgonio in a non-league match.

In most aspects of the game, the Aztecs played well, as they rapped out 10 hits, including four doubles, while two pitchers combined to walk only three batters. It turned out to be all or nothing for the Barstow offense, however, as along with the hits there were 11 strikeouts.

“They’re a good team, we knew going in it would be a tough game,” said Aztecs head coach Roland Fite. “Their starting pitcher (Belizario Gutierrez) threw some good off-speed stuff and his curve ball caught us off-guard. We have to be a little more patient at the plate; it’s hard to win with 11 strikeouts.”

The Spartans jumped on top with three runs in the bottom of the second inning, and added one in the fourth and two more in the fifh. Barstow scored once in each of the fourth, sixth and seventh.

Austin Willis started on the mound for the Aztecs and went the first 3.1 innings, scattering five hits and giving up four runs, three earned, while walking two and fanning three. The sophomore swung a hot bat on the afternoon, going 3-for-4 with a single, two doubles, and an RBI. Anthony Mestas tossed the last 2.2 frames, giving up four hits and two earned runs, walking and striking out one. He also contributed at the plate, smacking a run-scoring double.

Billy McCall did well offensively, hitting two singles and a double and scoring two runs. Colin Klein hit an RBI single, Storm Phillips singled and scored, and Austin Crank also singled for the Aztecs.

“I think we showed what we have and what we’re made of. We’ll bounce back; we’ll learn from it and move on,” said Fite. “We’ll focus on finishing up well in the tournament on Saturday; we’re fighting for third place.”

 Barstow will wrap up the San Gorgonio Tournament today. The host team Spartans have done well in the tourney, soundly beating Apple Valley, 8-0, and Jurupa Hills, 14-1. The Aztecs have also beaten Jurupa Hills, by a 6-0 score.

The next home game for the Aztecs is coming up on Tuesday, when they host (1-4) Highland for another non-league match. The first Desert Sky League game will be on March 22, when Barstow hosts Granite Hills for a 3:15 p.m. start.

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