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Centennial Suffers First Loss in “Battle of the Bulldogs”

Bulldogs go Down 10-6

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Centennial Suffers First Loss in “Battle of the Bulldogs”

James Bartolo, Sports Staff

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After winning their first four games by at least six runs, the Centennial Bulldogs had finally met their match Tuesday afternoon in the Top 10-ranked Palisade Bulldogs. Though the exhaustion of a 343 mile bus ride to Tony Andenucio Field would put most teams at a disadvantage, Palisade has been notorious for performing well on the road this year and Tuesday was no exception.

Palisade opened the game with two runs in the top of the first inning from sluggers John Taber and Austin Bernal. The Bulldogs of Palisade would then spend the three following innings scoring one run in each and holding Centennial scoreless with the help of excellent pitching from hurler Joe Lucas.

Despite being down 5-0, Centennial rallied together in the bottom of the fifth inning. Centennial senior Josh Cotter led off the outing with a triple to deep right field, setting up Gavin Fesmire to drive in Centennial’s first run. Darian Manzanares, the courtesy runner for Fesmire would later score the second run with the help of hits from Dustin Tilley and Braydon Jimenez.

Centennial continued their rally in the sixth inning. The Dogs in Red collected six consecutive hits including Tilley’s RBI single to tie Palisade 5-5. The streak finally ended when Palisade reliever John Taber struck out Jimenez.

With two exceptional innings from Centennial, it seemed as though Centennial was unstoppable. However a defensive collapse Ha defensive collapse in the 7th inning led to their demise. Centennial’s three errors complimented Palisades four hits to help Palisade double their score.

Down 10-5 with two outs in the bottom of the final inning, the odds were stacked against Centennial batsman Jake Sanchez who still managed to get on base. Putting together a last-stitch effort, Sanchez took a gamble stealing both second and third base.  Now facing the core of the Centennial lineup with the speedy Sanchez on third, Palisade pitcher John Tabor was clearly showing signs of fatigue. Tabor walked Centennial’s Cotter and threw a wild pitch to Brennan Gurule, sending Sanchez home. With Cotter on second and Gurule on first, the stage was set for the powerful Gavin Fesmire. On a 3-2 count, Fesmire swung for the fences, sending a ball to deep right field. Unfortunately for Fesmire, Palisade’s Joe Lucas rushed to grab the final out, ending Centennial’s undefeated streak.

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James Bartolo, Sports Staff

James Bartolo is a Senior at Centennial High School. Bartolo has been a fan of sports throughout his life. Due to his love for sports, many of his “childhood...

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Centennial Suffers First Loss in “Battle of the Bulldogs”