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Coyotes howl in Fourth of July opener

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011

Photos By BOB OTTO

BEAUMONT, CA – The host Beaumont Coyotes breezed through their opening game in the 35th Annual Fourth of July Coyotes Men’s Fastpitch Tournament by blasting the Corona Rebels 7-0 early Saturday morning in the eight-team, double elimination tournament.

David Valdivia Jr. and his cousin Joe Valdivia hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning to spot veteran Randy Clay a 2-0 lead, and the right-hander didn’t waste it, allowing but three hits along with seven strikeouts in a complete game effort. The win moved the Coyotes to the 3:30 p.m. quarterfinals (No results available) with the San Bernardino Aztecs, which beat the Morongo Men’s Club 8-0 in Saturday’s opening action.

Late Friday night, the Pala Braves knocked off the 2010 defending champion Colton Dirtbags 4-3, sending the Dirtbags into the losers bracket where they met the Soboba Beernuts. In the circle for both teams were top women’s pitchers – Desiree Serrano for the Dirtbags and Debbie Day for Soboba. (No results available.)

Both pitchers were top collegiate and professional stars – Serrano at Arizona State and Day for the Arizona Wildcats. Day is No. 25 on the NCAA Division I career wins list with 116. Serrano and Day regularly pitch for men’s teams in leagues and tournaments, and both say they enjoy the competition and challenge.

Long time Coyote catcher Rich Lozano was at the tournament. He wasn’t behind the plate in his usual spot due to an arm injury, but he had the Coyotes’ jersey on and said once he heals he would be on the ball diamond again.