Four Mark Keppel High fifth inning errors led to six unearned Schurr High runs as the visiting Spartans came from behind on Friday to literally crush the Aztecs, 17-4, in the Almont League opener.Trailing, 4-2, against hard luck starter Evan Bachmann - who was pitching well enough at the time to possibly secure a victory - Schurr got three of the first four batters of the inning on base via Keppel errors - including a strange dropped third strike error call against catcher Miguel Gonzalez that set the tone for the inning.
RBI singles for Schurr (1-0 league, 1-6 overall) by designated hitter Matthew Mayo and right fielder Gabriel Escobar eventually put the Spartans on top, 8-4.
Bachmann (0-1) took the loss in the game. He pitched five-plus innings before running out of gas and looking visibly exhausted. He also gave up 10 runs, with just three of them earned, and had five strikeouts to go along with two walks.
Schurr coach Ken Marrero was pleased with the game's outcome.
"It was a big win for us," he said. "We started the season 0-6. We really needed a victory and regardless of how we did it we got a win."
Marrero added the win is also important psychologically for the team.
"When a team goes 0-6 they start to doubt themselves," he said. "That's why today's big."
Keppel (0-1, 0-4) jumped out in the first inning all over starter Oscar Sarabia for two runs, courtesy of a lead-off single by shortstop Max Katz, a hit batsman and a two out, two RBI double by Gonzalez.
Sarabia retired all three batters he faced in the second before getting into trouble again in the bottom of the third, giving up a triple to second baseman Andrew Fraire and a scoring fly ball to center fielder Christian Salazar.
Sarabia was lifted with one out in the fourth by Adrian Lerman (1-0), who picked up the win in relief by pitching three and two-thirds and allowing just one run while striking out four.
"Lerma did an outstanding job," said Marrero, who hinted the reliever might be getting some starting work. "He came in, threw hard and threw strikes. That's what he did."
Lerma said he got his command to work for him on Friday.
"I was throwing my fastball," he said. "My curveball wasn't working to well, so I just starting hitting my spots. It feels good to finally get a win."
Schurr put the game out of reach with a seven-run seventh inning that was capped by a grand slam home run off of the bat of center fielder Carlos Arrendondo.