American Majors win
The Clovis American All-Stars received solid pitching and defense and just enough offense Tuesday night in posting a 4-2 victory over Clovis Zia for the championship of the District 3 Major League tournament at Dickenson Field.
American finished unbeaten in the double-elimination tournament and advanced to state competition beginning July 25 in Las Vegas, N.M.
The teams played to a 2-2 tie after one inning, with Zia scoring on a two-out, two-run homer to left by Ricky Sanchez. But American pitchers Josh Potocki and Brett Anderson, each of whom worked three innings, blanked Zia over the final five frames on three hits.
“The pitchers on both teams found their rhythm after the first inning and made it hard on the batters,” American coach Tom Drake said. “We were fortunate enough to get some hits when we needed to, and we got good pitching out of Josh Potocki and Brett Anderson.”
Zia left-hander Sebastian Flores went the distance. He gave up two runs in the top of the first on a leadoff double by Stefan Mills, two wild pitches for a run, an error, another wild pitch and a run-scoring single by Mario Posada.
Alex Garcia led off the Zia first with a single and took second on a sacrifice, but was thrown out at third when left fielder Dexter Correll made a strong throw after fielding Flores’ sharp single. Sanchez followed with his game-tying homer, and Zia put two more runners on before Potocki wiggled out of the inning.
American went in front in the third on singles by Jose Posada and Anderson and two passed balls, then added an insurance run in the fourth on a single by Seth Bailey, two wild pitches and Emery Sierra’s run-scoring groundout.
Zia got two runners on with one out in the third and fourth innings, but couldn’t come up with the key hit. Mario Posada threw out a Zia runner at the plate trying to score from second to end the fourth inning.
“Our kids hung in there and played good defense,” Drake said. “They know where to go with the ball, and they made some good plays.”
American outhit Zia 8-7. Flores and American’s Matt Southard were the only players on either team with two hits.
“We just fell short,” said Zia coach Dewey Patton, whose team would have needed two wins to take the championship. “We’ll just have to come back and try again next year.”
Roosevelt County 15, Zia 7 (Juniors) — Roosevelt County took advantage of Zia fielding miscues to take a 7-0 lead in the second inning at Brady Field, and went on to force another game for the Junior League District 3 title at 7 p.m. tonight.
Ryan Acosta rode the early run support to a complete-game pitching victory for Roosevelt County. He struck out seven in the game and walked two.
“We played a goodteam, a good-hitting team, and I knew if we struggled we would lose,” Roosevelt coach Joe Gilmore said. “But our pitcher threw a great game and we hit the ball well.”
Zia coach Tony Johnson said his team is capable of coming back in tonight’s finale.
“We played a good game, but we just weren’t hitting the ball well,” Johnson said. “We’ll get them tomorrow.”
Lukas Cash contributed to this report.