Ruidoso sweeps Portales
RUIDOSO — Everything looked great for the Portales Rams, up 10-1 on Ruidoso in the middle of the fifth and well on its way to clinching the District 4-3A baseball title.
And then the rest of Saturday happened. The host Warriors posted a 12-run fifth en route to a surprising 17-10 comeback over the Rams.
Ruidoso (8-13, 3-3) took the nightcap 16-9, taking the lead for good with a four-run third inning.
“We had three chances to get out of the inning with the lead, the last one being 10-8,” Portales coach Dusty Nusser said. “We didn’t make (the plays). The hitting was contagious and they went on from there.”
Jarrett Faust went 3-for-4 in the opener with a pair of doubles, while sophomore Grant Wagner was 3-for-5 with a triple and three RBIs in the nightcap.
Shy Dankert went 4-for-8 on the day, including a homer in both contests for Ruidoso.
Portales, which faces Texico for a 6:30 p.m. single game Monday and Eunice for a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader Thursday, will have to wait on the Tuesday Lovington-Ruidoso doubleheader to know their district fate.
If Ruidoso sweeps Lovington, it would be the District 4-3A champion by virtue of run differential in the four games it split with Portales (12-11, 5-3). Portales would claim the district title with either a split or Lovington sweep, and Lovington could take second place outright with a sweep or end up in a run differential tiebreaker themselves in a split.
The biggest benefit to the district champion is higher seeding and a guaranteed spot in the Class 3A playoffs, which is virtually guaranteed to Portales anyway. There are 19 teams fighting for 16 slots, and Portales has more wins (12) than the bottom three teams combined (10).