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PREP BASEBALL ROUNDUP : Esperanza Downs El Dorado Again

April 23, 1993|CHRIS FOSTER

The difference in Esperanza's team this season is in its players . . . the ones who are spending more time on the field and less in the training room.

El Dorado felt the brunt of that good health Thursday night. The Aztecs pounded the Golden Hawks for the second consecutive day, winning, 8-1, at Cal State Fullerton.

The victory put Esperanza in complete control of the Empire League. The Aztecs (14-5, 8-1 in league), who missed the playoffs last season for the first time in 12 years, now have a two-game lead over El Dorado.

It was the Golden Hawks' third loss in four games and their fifth in eight. They began the week tied for first place and now face a battle to make the playoffs. El Dorado, the defending league champion, is 1 1/2 games in front of Katella and Cypress.

The reason is simple. Guys like Marcus Jones and Poncho Ruiz are playing more than watching.

Jones, who missed part of last season with an arm injury, dominated the Golden Hawks. He gave up only four hits in six shutout innings to improve his record to 7-1.

Jones struck out seven and walked only two. He retired 12 consecutive batters at one point.

By the time Chad Peters broke that string with a two-out triple in the fifth, the Aztecs had a 7-0 lead.

Jones also had three runs batted in, two coming on a fourth-inning single.

Ruiz, who missed much of last season with a shoulder injury, had two hits and drove in the Aztecs' first run with a single. On Wednesday, he had three RBIs, two on a home run, in an 8-1 victory over El Dorado.

Bobby Ponce had two hits and two RBIs.

As in Wednesday's game, the Golden Hawks gave the Aztecs plenty of help. They committed five errors Thursday and 10 in the two games. Their pitchers also had three wild pitches and hit two batters.

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