CORPUS CHRISTI – There were highs and lows on the opening night of Warrior Field, Tuloso-Midway’s new baseball park, but unfortunately for Warriors fans, it ended on a low.
Visiting Alice put a damper on the festivities, defeating T-M 8-3 in the teams’ season opener Monday.
It was a tight contest through the first five innings before the Coyotes broke through in the sixth. Tied at 3, four walks by Mason Hellums brought in the go-ahead run for Alice.
Trailing by one, the Warriors turned to Hayden Hight in relief. The Coyotes’ Jon Jaramillo greeted Hight with a two-run single through a gap between the third baseman and shortstop. Alice went up 6-3 and tacked on some insurance runs in the final inning.
The Coyotes got ahead of T-M from the jump, taking a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. Alice pitcher Chris Gonzalez – who picked up the complete-game win – drove in the first run of the season with a deep shot to left-center field.
Richie Hinojosa brought Gonzalez home in the next at-bat before injuring himself on the play.
The Warriors got one back in the home half, however. Hellums led off with a triple before Nathan Freitag hustled for an infield single, bringing in a run.
The 2-1 score would hold until T-M’s fourth, when Jesse Escareno brought in a score with an infield hit of his own.
Alice’s Blake Starr responded with a leadoff triple to start the fifth inning. A fielding error on Jakob Alaniz’s pop fly brought home Starr to make it 3-2 for the Coyotes.
Still down one, Hellums again led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple, tying the ballgame on the next at-bat to set up the late rally by Alice.
The inaugural game began following a “first pitch” ceremony to commemorate the new facility, which also features a softball field next door.