SOLEDAD — It wasn’t long ago that the Soledad Aztecs baseball team won 11 straight games, but in their last five matchups, they have gone 2-3. With a dominant win over Alisal, however, they remain in the mix for the Mission Division title.
Coming into the week, the Aztecs knew they would need help down the road in order for them to become division co-champs. The only thing that Soledad can control is the outcome in their final two league games against Alisal because a loss would eliminate them from title contention.
Soledad is currently 11-4, while Alisal and St. Francis are both 11-3.
Before their big game with Alisal, the Aztecs had their second game with Stevenson. In their first matchup, Soledad won 18-8, but this time Stevenson ended up winning at home 5-2.
Although the Aztecs fell to Stevenson, before the game they activated catcher Christian Camacho, who has missed the majority of their league games.
“It felt good to be back on the field,” Camacho said. “Especially being able to contribute again. As the innings went on, I got back into my groove.”
With Camacho behind the plate, Soledad’s defense increased — and in his first game back, he showed off, throwing out three runners. While he couldn’t play earlier in the season, Camacho made it his goal to help the team down the stretch for the playoff run.
“I kept my mind tuned in on what had to be done, kept working,” he said. “I trusted myself on the road back to being able to help my team further our success. As that helped me stay on track and keep my focus on the bigger goals for us.”
It will be interesting how Soledad Coach Damien Ryan balances his catcher situation. The Aztecs’ Noah Ferguson, who took over the catching duties during Camacho’s absence, has played well. Ferguson is a better hitter, but isn’t as sound as Camacho on the defensive side.
According to Soledad’s coaching staff, Ferguson is batting 311 with 20 RBIs.
In the game against Alisal, both catchers wound up playing, but Ryan went with Ferguson behind the plate to start the game. Every move the Aztecs made that day turned out good, as they scored 14 runs in the second inning to beat Alisal 19-6.
Some of the Aztec standouts were Jessie Farfan, who went 3-3 with five RBIs, and Marcus Tirado, who went 2-3 with four RBIs.
The Aztecs’ hopes to claim a share of the Mission Division are still alive. They will need to beat Alisal on Monday for a second time, and on the final day, Alisal will need to beat St. Francis, all of which took place after press deadlines.