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

Rams, Huskies split pair

 

April 9, 2017

David Norton

PHS left-hander Josiah Lucero sends a pitch home during the second inning of Saturday's District 4-4A doubleheader opener against Hope Christian at Bell Park. The Rams and Huskies split the twin bill, with Portales taking the opener 5-4 and Hope winning the nightcap 13-8.

PORTALES - In a rollercoaster of a weekend, the Portales High baseball team took just one of three games from Hope Christian during their three-game District 4-4A series at Ram Field.

After dropping Friday's opener 5-1, the Rams (11-6, 2-4 district) managed to bounce back in the first game on Saturday to snatch a 5-4 win over the Huskies (11-5, 2-1). The series' final game saw both teams explode offensively, but Hope got the better of the two and rode away with a 13-8 win.

"We just struggled a little bit with our control pitching," said Portales assistant Victor Lopez. "They just got to us early and put us in a big hole."

Lopez was handling coaching duties in the nightcap after a disputed second-inning call at the bag led to the ejection of a fan and Rams coach Dusty Nusser. One of the umpires also left the field after the play.

Nusser said afterwards that "emotions get the best of you sometimes," especially in a tightly-contested district series. He'll be required to sit out Thursday night, when Portales opens another three-game district set at home against Moriarty.

All three games saw the Huskies take early leads. In Friday's night game, Hope went up 5-0 after five innings and the Rams would only manage one run in the seventh inning. Emilio Lovato was hung with the loss, despite only giving up one earned run.

Despite falling behind 2-0 after one full inning, the Rams tied things up in the bottom of the second during Saturday's game one. After taking another two-run lead after five, the Huskies couldn't keep Portales off the scoreboard any longer and the Rams would plate the tie-breaking run in the seventh inning to win the game.

"Every game was competitive," said Lopez. "It teaches us we just have to be more on top of our game. We can't walk guys, swing and miss at the plate; every opportunity that comes by, we have to take advantage of."

Much like Lopez suggested, Portales found themselves in a big hole quickly in the final game, as Hope scored four runs in the top of the first. While Portales would answer with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning, four runs in each of the next two innings put Hope up big.

While Portales managed to plate five more runs, the Huskies' lead was too large to overcome. Hope finished the series with 29 total hits, 14 in the third game, while the Rams managed 21 of their own.

Portales' Joe Ortega had quite a series offensively, going 6-for-10 from the plate with three RBIs.

Portales will resume its district schedule with the series against Moriarty, which starts 6 p.m. Thursday in Portales.

 
 

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