Huge sixth inning gets Yellowjackets the victory over the Titans, 5-1

Julian Rocha pitches a complete game, Raymond Ramirez gets a timely hit, and Andy Navarrete’s stingy defense secures the victory over rivals


Joe Ramirez

Adan Sanchez gets a huge lead off hit in the sixth inning that kickstarted the Yellowjackets 3-run explosion.

Colton, CA—The last time Colton faced Grand Terrace on March 15, they barely edged the Titans 1-0. Today’s home game was every bit as hard fought, with Colton erupting for three runs in the sixth to defeat their rivals 5-1.

“I saw a lot of heart, a lot of courage there,” manager Scott Mendoza said. “They came out, they were focused. They did what they needed to do, and they got the win.”

Julian Rocha started on the mound for the Yellowjackets, and after a shaky first couple innings in which he gave up three hits, one run, and one fielding error, the junior settled down and found his groove. He shut down the Titans the rest of the way, allowing only two more hits in his complete game appearance.

“I just listened to my coaches and my teammates and tried to settle down,” Rocha said about his strong recovery in the third inning. “I was in my head a lot, but my shortstop Raymond [Ramirez] helped me out, and I kinda settled down.”

Raymond Ramirez also got it done in the batter’s box, getting the game’s biggest hit in the bottom of the sixth inning. He drove a two-run double into right field, scoring Juan Valdivia and Anthony Corral, which put the Yellowjackets up 5-1, all but sealing the victory.

The star of the game for the Yellowjackets had to be center fielder Andy Navarrete, whose defense saved a lot of runs, from a sprinting catch that ended the first inning to a rare center field-to-second base double play that ended the game. “I practice that every day,” Navarrete said. He was more proud of his teammates, however. “They were all focused and aggressive, throwing the ball consistent and fielding. That’s how you win the game.”

This game was not without controversy. During the third inning, after having been warned on a couple earlier occasions for heckling their opponent, the Yellowjackets were forced to remove a player from the dugout. Then, in the bottom of the sixth, as Colton took control, a fielding error by Grand Terrace’s first baseman allowed clean-up hitter Adan Sanchez to reach safely. Grand Terrace’s assistant coach, Jesse Holguin, argued the call with the plate umpire and was ejected from the game.

With this victory, the Yellowjackets are now 9-6 overall and 3-2 in the San Andreas League with six games remaining. This win also secures a season series victory over their crosstown rivals, against whom a game often feels like more than just a game.

Except to Raymond Ramirez. The shortstop, when asked about the importance of this game simply said. “It’s just another game.”