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May 8, 2012 > Men's Baseball: Colts edge Cougars

Men's Baseball: Colts edge Cougars

By John Suza

This could have been the game of the year. Mission Valley Athletic League (MVAL) baseball is wide open this year as James Logan plays the role of defending champion. With the Division I title race ahead, the Newark Cougars have set their sights on rival Logan Colts. After losing two out of three games to the Colts in 2011, including an NCS playoff match, the April 18 game was considered pivotal, possibly setting the course of MVAL standings this year.

Graduation is a big factor as Colts Pascual Flores and Alex Abeyta are moving on. Each was instrumental in the playoff run last season, as was right handed ace Brandon Yau. Yau struck out 80 players in 81 innings last year. Alex Martinez threw nearly as much (77 innings) and had a lower ERA (1.41). Martinez and Yau have a few seasons left since they are juniors this year. Expect the Colts to contend for the North Coast Sectionals (NCS) title once again.

Excitement was everywhere at Newark High School as both teams knew the importance of the game. Logan came out hitting but Christopher Flexen showed big improvement over last year, getting himself out of many tight spots in the first three innings. Improved Cougar pitching could make the MVAL race fun to watch this year. The Cougars' defense made some impressive plays on the bases to keep the Colts off the scoreboard.

Both pitchers gave outstanding performances; Alex Martinez on the Colts side and Flexen are two pitchers to watch in MVAL baseball this year. The scoreless tie remained until the top of fifth inning when a wild pitch allowed the Colts to score the first and only run of the game, beating the Newark Cougars 1-0.

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