HS Baseball: Murrieta Mesa takes two from Tahquitz to start the season

Murrieta Mesa High School’s Craig Hunter started the first of two games on the mound against Tahquitz High School Saturday, Feb. 15, as both teams kicked off their season in a double header. Valley News/File photo

The Murrieta Mesa High School Rams baseball team took to the road Saturday, Feb. 15, to face the Tahquitz High School Titans in a double header that represented the start of the season for both teams. The first game saw the Rams snatch the lead late in the game that went 10 innings, claiming a 9-4 victory when it was all said and done.

Tahquitz got things moving in the first inning, when an error in the outfield scored one run for Titans. Tahquitz scored three runs in the sixth inning with the help of an RBI base hit by senior Travis Booth, but Murrieta Mesa rallied to tie the game. The game was tied at four with Murrieta Mesa batting in the top of the 10th when third baseman Nate May was hit by a pitch, driving in a run. From there, the Rams opened things up when first baseman Caden Byers drilled a double to the gap, bringing in two more runs to help put the game out of reach.

Gavin Meyer started the game for Tahquitz. He lasted seven innings, allowing seven hits and four runs while striking out three and walking one. Craig Hunter started the game for the Rams. He surrendered three runs on two hits over five and a third innings, striking out three and walking zero. Jack Kelly got the win for Murrieta Mesa. He lasted three innings, allowing zero hits and zero runs while striking out two and walking one. Wade threw one and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen. Dylan Plutner took the loss for Tahquitz. He surrendered five runs on five hits over two and a third innings, striking out three.

The Rams racked up 12 hits in the game. Byers, May and Antonio January all managed multiple hits for Murrieta Mesa. Byers went 3-for-5 at the plate to lead the Rams while Ethan Strawbridge led Tahquitz with two hits in five at bats.

Game two was more of a wild west showdown as both teams were strong on the pitcher’s mound, but it was the Rams claiming victory once again after defeating Tahquitz 3-1. The Murrieta Mesa pitching staff allowed just one hit in the game.

Jhayden Raineri was credited with the victory for Murrieta Mesa, allowing one hit and one run over four innings, striking out seven. Caden Byers and Makana Olaso entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief. Olaso recorded the last three outs to earn the save for the Rams. Senior Bryce Burchard led Murrieta Mesa at the plate with two hits in three at bats. Both teams play this week in the Inland Empire Classic tournament, which is held by Elsinore High School.

*Want your team covered? Send your game changer stats and recaps to JP Raineri at sports@ reedermedia.com.