The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Texico rallies to stun Portales

 

March 31, 2016

Staff photo: Kevin Wilson Texico first baseman Nathan Phipps blocks the path of Portales baserunner Josiah Lucero in the second inning of Thursday’s game at Wolverine Field. Phipps went 2-for-4 and hit the game-winning single in Texico’s 6-5 win over the Rams.

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TEXICO — Six and a half innings in, every bounce seemed to go the way of the Portales Rams. Then the 8-9 hitters got on for Texico, and suddenly the bounces went the other way.

The final bounce came at 7:10 p.m. at Wolverine Field, as sophomore Nathan Phipps’ high chopper up the middle scored two runs and capped a four-run seventh for a theft of a 6-5 victory over Portales on Thursday night.

Rafael Maldonado, who picked up the win with five innings of relief, scored the winning run against Portales senior Grant Wagner, who had controlled the first six innings on the hill for the Rams (3-6).

Wagner allowed just two unearned runs on two hits and struck out eight Wolverines during the first six innings, and seemed to be in line for the win after Portales notched an insurance run in the seventh as Emilio Lovato scored on a Maldonado wild pitch.

link Staff photo: Kevin Wilson

Texico first baseman Nathan Phipps blocks the path of Portales baserunner Josiah Lucero in the second inning of Thursday’s game at Wolverine Field. Phipps went 2-for-4 and hit the game-winning single in Texico’s 6-5 win over the Rams.

But Ben Crist and Brock Thompson, a combined 0-for-4 entering the seventh, reached base on a walk and a hit by pitch, and three of the final four Wolverine batters got aboard — ended by Phipps, who went 2-for-4 and scored Texico’s first run in the second inning.

“One of my kids who injured his knee from football said, ‘We’ve got 8-9. It could be good if they get on, and really bad if they don’t,’” Texico coach Ty Thatcher said. “They came up and got the job done for us.”

Texico (7-1) notched its first run of the seventh on a single by Brayden Wines, then loaded the bases with a full-count walk to Maldonado.

After a strikeout and a run-scoring passed ball, Phipps hit a 1-1 pitch that took a hop well over the head of Rams shortstop Emilio Lovato — who had ended a Texico threat in the sixth by starting a 6-3 double play.

“We had what we wanted,” Portales coach Dusty Nusser said. “We’ve just got to get better, bottom line, and it starts with me.”

Nusser had a pitcher ready to relieve Wagner, but tried to give his ace the chance to work out of a jam he had created.

“That was his game,” Nusser said. “He said he wanted to stay (in the game) when I went out to talk to him. We just didn’t make enough plays behind him to win, and we didn’t score enough runs.”

First baseman Alex Galvan led the Rams with a 2-for-3 day at the plate and three RBIs, while Lovato was 2-for-3 with three runs scored.

Texico visits Capitan on Saturday to play the Tigers and Tularosa in a round-robin, while Portales opens Distirct 4-4A play with a 4:30 p.m. home doubleheader against New Mexico Military Institute.

Texico 6, Portales 5

Portales 220 000 1 — 5 6 3

Texico 010 100 4 — 6 5 1

Grant Wagner and Joel Legarda; Tanner Dickerman, Rafael Maldonado (3) and Brock Thompson. W — Maldonado. L — Wagner. LOB — Portales 7, Texico 6. Top hitters — Portales, Emilio Lovato 2-3, HBP, 3R; Alex Galvan 2-3, 2B, 3 RBI . Texico, Nathan Phipps 2-4, 2 RBI, R; Brayden Wines 1-3, RBI, R, BB. Records — Portales 3-6, Texico 7-1.

 
 

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