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

Texico outlasts Portales


May 2, 2017

PORTALES — Texico High’s baseball team managed to hold on to an early lead to pick up the win over Portales 8-5 on Monday at Ram Field in the teams’ final game of the regular season.

Going up 2-0 after the first inning, Texico managed to score another three runs over the next four innings before the Rams finally tied the contest at 5-5 in the fifth. But the Wolverines (22-3) plated three runs in the sixth would push the Wolverines (22-3) over the top though, with the Rams (19-7) going scoreless in their final try at the plate.

Texico only managed four hits and recorded three errors — compared to the Rams’ 11 hits and six errors. While neither coach was pleased with the errors, Texico’s Ty Thatcher trust in his team and their will to win.

“This team has a tendency to be resilient and get those outs,” Thatcher said. “Of course, you want to play error-free. But it happens at times and that’s why we play these games, to try and eliminate these mistakes.”

The loss snapped an eight-game win streak for Portales, which recorded 11 hits but couldn’t get things done defensively.

“We aren’t going to beat anybody making six errors, especially a team like Texico,” Rams coach Dusty Nusser said. “It’s hurt us before and is definitely concerning, but it’s something we’ve dealt with before.”

Nathan Phipps led the Wolverines from the plate with one hit and three RBIs while Robin Winton went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. On the mound, Phipps also recorded the win, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing two earned runs.

Portales’ Emilio Lovato tossed two innings with four strikeouts, while Josiah Lucero went three innings with three Ks. Joe Ortega was stuck with the loss, despite allowing only one hit in his two innings on the mound.

Lovato and Lucero both had good outings at the plate, with the former going 2-for-3 with two RBIs and the latter going a perfect 2-for-2 with an RBI. Darion Ontiveros added two hits and a single run driven in as well.

Both teams will now gear up for the start of postseason play later this week.

“I think the rest will be good, our pitchers have thrown well on rest,” Nusser said. “We just have to get better defensively now.”

Texico scheduled three non-district games heading into its postseason, something Thatcher said was purposeful and hopefully got the Wolverines ready for the Class 3A state tournament.

“There are some things that we need to fix,” Thatcher said. “But that’s the reason these Lubbock (Christian) games and Portales games are put in at the end of the season. It gives us a chance to tune up.”

Texico is the top seed in the Class 3A state tournament bracket announced late Monday night. It will host 16th-seeded Loving on Friday and Saturday in a best-of-three series.

Meanwhile, Portales was given the No. 2 seed in the Class 4A tournament and will host 15th-seeded Santa Fe Indian this weekend in its best-of-three series.


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