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Othello Red Raiders open summer baseball season with wins

by CASEY MCCARTHY
Staff Writer | June 25, 2021 1:00 AM

OTHELLO — The Othello Red Raiders summer baseball club kicked off their season this Tuesday, playing and winning four games.

The Red Raiders shut out Union Gap-based La Salle 17-0 in the opening game in Othello. Pitcher Sonny Salazar allowed one hit in just under five innings. The Othello squad knocked 10 hits as a team, with three players recording multiple hits.

Jordan Montemayor went 2-2, Ezra Gonzalez finished 2-3 with four runs earned and Xzyan Martinez went 2-2 with a team-high five RBIs. Montemayor and Kal-El Ozuna picked up doubles.

In the second game of the day, the Red Raiders took down the Yakima Patriots 7-0. Othello finished with 11 hits as a team, while giving up six hits to the Patriots.

Ozuna and Montemayor combined for 10 strikeouts on the mound, eight of those by Ozuna. Ozuna surrendered five hits in six innings pitched while Montemayor gave up just one hit coming in for one inning of relief.

Eliez Gutierrrez finished 3-4 from the plate to lead the Red Raiders, adding one RBI. Xyzan Martinez finished 2-4, while Sonny Salazar went 2-3 with one RBI. Salazar and Hayden Meek both picked up doubles.

On Wednesday, the Red Raiders headed to Yakima for a doubleheader against the Yakima Patriots. An early 10-3 lead helped hold off a late surge, leading to a 15-10 victory for the Red Raiders. Gonzalez finished 4-4 from the plate. Gutierrez finished 2-4 with a double, triple and pair of RBIs, while Salazar finished 2-4 with two RBIs and a double.

In their final game of the week, the Red Raiders defeated the Patriots 22-1. Gutierrez pitched a no-hitter on the mound in five innings of work with seven strikeouts.

Seven Red Raiders players finished the game with multiple hits. Xzyan Martinez and Justin Martinez each finished with three hits in the win to lead the way for the Othello squad. Gutierrez finished with a team-high four RBIs, going 2-5 at the plate.

Red Raiders head coach Sonny Garza said he has a young team this summer with just three players coming in with high school experience.

“We have a lot of 13U kids, we only have three high school kids. So the rest are eighth-graders going in to be freshman, so a really young group,” Garza said.

Garza said he expects his high school returners, Gonzalez, Gutierrez and Xyzan Martinez, to be leaders for the group this summer. He said his focus right now is getting his players ready to take advantage of fast balls when they come their way at the plate and be ready to be aggressive running the bases, something that can be adjustment for middle school players adjusting to the full-length baselines.

So far, Garza said he’s been happy with what he’s seen so far, but added the team still has quite a ways to go in accomplishing their goals for the summer.

Montemayor, Ozuna and Salazar have all stood out, Garza said.

The Red Raiders his the field again next Tuesday afternoon with a doubleheader against Walla Walla.

Casey McCarthy can be reached via email at cmccarthy@columbiabasinherald.com.