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Texico overcomes slow start, rocks Shiprock


March 24, 2018

ROSWELL — Texico’s baseball team got a great outing from pitcher Ben Crist, and finally got its offense working in the middle and later innings to rout Shiprock 10-0 in six innings of Friday’s Colt Classic Tournament hosted by New Mexico Military Institute.

The Wolverines improved to 5-1, thanks in large part to Crist’s one-hitter that included seven strikeouts and no walks. But every pitcher needs run support and the Wolves finally broke loose for some in the fourth after three frustrating innings. They stranded two in each of those first three frames and were an out away from coming away empty in the fourth before the bats started working.

After a Texico strikeout and groundout in the bottom of the fourth inning, Robin Winton slapped a two-out single to get his team cooking. Winton grabbed second base on a passed ball, and then Dalton Thatcher doubled him home to give the Wolves a 1-0 edge.

After two consecutive walks loaded the bases, Luke Phipps cleared them with a single that was followed by an error on the same play, quickly making it a 4-0 game.

Texico strung together six hits in the fifth inning, doubling its lead to 8-0 as a result. After tacking on two more in the bottom of the sixth, the game ended.

“We had to earn what we got, early in the game especially,” Texico coach Ty Thatcher said. “We had to try to be patient and let things happen, but definitely started hitting the ball.”

Texico’s Cole Rohrbach went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBI. Winton was 2-for-4 including a double, Thatcher 2-for-5 including his momentous two-bagger. Cian Holmes also doubled for the Wolverines, who earned the right to play for the tournament championship tonight at 7 p.m.

Another weekend, another tournament title game, another high-quality venue.

“Last weekend we got to play in a really nice facility in Eunice,” Coach Thatcher said, “and NMMI is very similar.”

There’s a big scoreboard, a radar gun, turf, everything to make players feel like they’re in a postseason-style atmosphere, which can only help in the near future, especially when they’re successful in that atmosphere.

“That makes it fun for the kids,” Coach Thatcher said, “plus all the state tournament games are played on similar fields, so it definitely puts us in position to play in those types of parks.”

The competition doesn’t hurt, either.

“Even though that was a run-rule game (Friday),” Thatcher said, “that (Shiprock)team plays quality baseball.”


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