The name “Aaron” is synonymous with home-run hitting. But no one expected Aaron Yulch to be pounding homers like “Hammerin'” Hank Aaron.
Yulch hit his league-leading 13th home run of the season to lead Buddy’s Cards Crushers to a 14-4 win over the Socorro Magic in Los Lunas Men’s Softball League action Monday night at Daniel Fernandez Park.
Just six games into the season, Yulch has already surpassed the total number of home runs he hit during his rookie season last year.
How does he account for his power surge?
“Everybody asks me that, but I can’t give an answer,” he said. “The only answer I give is that I go up there and try to hit the ball as hard as I can. If it goes, it goes.”
Yulch went deep his first trip to the plate Monday night. His three-run blast over the left field fence in the top of the first inning gave the Crushers their first runs of the game against the mistake-ridden Magic.
“When you jump on a team right away like that,” said Crushers player/coach Patrick Ortiz, “it’s hard for them to get back into it.”
The Magic was never in the game after that. A pair of Magic errors led to two more runs in the inning, as the Crushers jumped out to a 5-0 lead.
The Crushers added six more runs on seven hits in the second inning. Chris Ortiz led off with a base hit. One out later, Zack Stevenson and Jim Lezau hit back-to-back doubles to make the score 7-0. Yulch followed with a triple to add another run.
After Paul Aguilar lined out to shortstop for the second out of the inning, Bert Ortiz singled and Brian Torres doubled to keep the inning alive. Doc Gonzalez then dissected the Magic defense with a bloop single to short center field that increased the Crushers lead to 11-0.
They added another run in the third. Again it was Yulch. His two-out single plated Patrick Ortiz, who had led off the inning with a single, for his fifth RBI of the game.
The Crushers kept the pressure on with two more runs in the fifth. With one out, Stevenson singled and Lezau followed with a run-scoring double. One out later, Aguilar singled to drive home Lezau and make the score 14-0.
Meanwhile, Doc Gonzalez mystified the Magic with surgically precise pitching, allowing only three harmless singles through the first four innings. The Magic finally got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth when Quincy McDaniel homered to left. The Magic strung together three more hits off Gonzalez, the last of which got by Stevenson in left field for a three-base error that scored three runs. But Gonzales got Angel Garcia to fly out and Valente Silva to ground out to third base to end the game after five innings due to the “mercy rule.”
The win extended the Crushers win streak to five games and snapped the Magic’s four-game win streak.
“They’re a good team,” coach Ortiz said of the Magic. “We played them last year, and they did real well. They just came out real flat today.”
Magic player/coach Angel Garcia agreed. “This isn’t our team, man,” he said. “We’re upset. We’re a better team than that.”
The loss was the Magic’s first of the season, dropping them to 4-1. The Crushers improved to 5-1.