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Wolverines rout Raton in double


April 7, 2019

TEXICO — For Texico’s baseball team, it had been mostly tournament play up until this week.

The Wolverines had played six consecutive tournament games — three in Eunice, three in Roswell — and then a regular-season road game against Portales on Thursday, as the run-up to Friday’s home-opening doubleheader against Raton. Finally, some non-tournament action. Finally, any action at Texico’s baseball field.

And a newly re-done field it was. According to Texico head coach Ty Thatcher, five figures went into replacing the surface, all the dirt-skinned areas, with a granite top. Nice upgraded digs on which the Wolverines routed Raton twice Friday — 15-4 in five innings of the first game and 8-0 in a windy, somewhat rainy, nightcap.

“It absorbed the weather pretty good today and handled it well,” Coach Thatcher said of the field. “I felt like the field played pretty good today.”

The sweep was a good way for Texico to rebound from Thursday night’s 10-4 road loss to Portales.

“I felt like we were really close to making that Portales game a competitive game,” Thatcher said. “We had nine hits against their two best arms. It was a loss, but I think we gained solid ground in understanding what we need to do against a quality team. These pre-district games are designed to get us better every day.”

Friday provided two more such opportunities for the Wolverines.

In the afternoon game, sophomore lefty Seth Griego found some early trouble, getting behind 3-0 against Raton’s leadoff hitter Aden Vanderwater. A meeting on the mound followed and Griego then settled down, getting strikes on the next three pitches to set Vanderwater down.

“He came and responded to a little bit of a chewing out after his 3-0 count,” Coach Thatcher recalled. “He was a little bit more up in the zone than the last time he performed.”

Griego then induced consecutive ground outs to end the half-inning.

Robin Winton led off Texico’s half of the first by beating out an infield single, and he went to second base on a wild pitch. Dalton Thatcher then met a 3-1 pitch with a double that scored Winton with the game’s first run.

Cole Rohrbach made it to first base on a fielder’s choice that got Thatcher out at third, and after a David Davalos fly out, Griego beat out an infield single to keep the inning alive. Freddy Davalos then ripped a first-pitch single that score Rohrbach to make it 2-0.

Ruger Horton walked to load the bases, but Raton starter Isiah Samora came up with a strikeout to avoid further damage by the Wolverines.

Raton sliced the margin in half during the top of the second inning, as Matthew Quartieri scored when teammate Dylan Quartieri reached on an error.

In the bottom of the second, though, Texico broke it open. Josh Myers led off with a single, took second base on an error and went to third on a Winton single up the middle. Thatcher then walked to load the bases.

Rohrbach smacked a single to center, grabbed second on the throw in, and went to third on an overthrow, as the bases were cleared and the Wolverines built a 5-1 advantage.

Following consecutive Texico strikeouts, Freddy Davalos singled a 1-0 pitch that scored Rohrbach, and after Davalos moved to second on a wild pitch, Horton and Isaac Ortiz drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases again.

With Myers up, Freddy Davalos scored on a passed ball to make it 7-1. Myers walked to re-load the bases, but a pop out followed to end the inning.

Raton got two back in the top of the third, but Texico notched five runs in the bottom of that inning, thanks to a David Davalos single that scored Rohrbach, a Horton double that plated courtesy runner Bryce Douma, an Ortiz single that drove in Freddy Davalos and Horton, and a Myers double to the warning track that scored Ortiz to give Texico a 12-3 lead.

It was 12-4 in the bottom of the fifth, when the Wolverines closed it out on the 10-run rule. Horton reached on an error and Ortiz was plunked, giving Texico runners on first and second with no one out. Myers singled to score Horton, putting the Wolverines ahead by nine, still with runners on first and second and nobody out.

The runners went to second and third on a ball in the dirt, and after a Winton ground out didn’t score anyone, Thatcher walloped a two-run double that ended it.

Griego (2-0) finished with a four-hitter. “He’s going to have to be better, but pretty good performance for a sophomore,” Coach Thatcher said. “The defense played well behind him. I think he only had three strikeouts, but he did a good job of getting ground balls and fly outs.”

Game two

Texico jumped all over Raton in the nightcap, scoring two in the first and three in the second to take a big lead early.

Dalton Thatcher (2-0) kept the Tigers at bay, firing a two-hit shutout that included 16 strikeouts and just one walk.

Winton led the offense with two hits — a triple and a double.

And for Texico overall, it was a sweep of a non-district opponent, but a familiar one.

“They’ve been in our (former) district the past two years,” Coach Thatcher said. “We like playing them because they play the right way. ... They’re well coached and they understand how to play the game. It makes us better in the long run playing a quality team.”

Texico will play another one, Estancia, in a road doubleheader this coming Friday, starting at 3 p.m. The teams last met 11 months ago in the state 3A championship game at Albuquerque’s Isotopes Park.

This Saturday, the Wolverines open their district slate with a home twinbill against Clayton, beginning at 1 p.m.


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