4 Portales players make All-State team
July 6, 2018
PORTALES — Four Portales players made the 4A All-State baseball team this week, led by first-team selection Joel Legarda.
The senior catcher is joined from the Rams by second-team selection Luciano Rodriguez — a third baseman who was just a freshman in 2018 — along with honorable mention accolades for senior pitcher Josiah Lucero and sophomore outfielder Jordan Garcia.
Legarda was arguably the best hitter on a Portales team (19-11) that made it to the 4A semifinal, before falling to eventual champion Hope Christian at the University of New Mexico’s Santa Ana Star Field in Albuquerque. During the spring, Legarda led the Rams in batting average (.395), on-base percentage (.548), OPS (1.083) and doubles (10).
Rodriguez, meanwhile, batted .368 in 28 games, scoring 25 runs and leading the team with 27 RBIs. The freshman also had eight stolen bases and recorded an .877 fielding percentage.
Lucero was the team’s best pitcher, finishing with a 6-1 record, to go along with a 1.39 ERA in 10 appearances. Offensively, he was a force as well, posting a .330 batting average and 21 RBIs in 2018.
Garcia, who was exceptional as a freshman in ’17, had yet another strong season this year. He led the way with 19 steals, while batting .370, and had the second-most walks (16) on the team. And once again, the sophomore showed off excellent glovework in center field, recording an outstanding .977 fielding percentage and committing just one error all season.
State champion Hope Christian was responsible for 4A’s Player of the Year (senior shortstop Evan Torres) and Coach of the Year (Glen Copeland). The Huskies had two first-team selections and five All-State honorees, overall.
In all, 37 players made the 4A All-State teams, with 14 coming from District 4.