Michael Baca came through with a clutch inside-the-park homer in the bottom of the sixth inning Friday afternoon to put Tucumcari in a semi-final game against Estancia in the Route 66 Tournament on Saturday.
Rattler coach Mike Russell had praise for Baca.
“Michael Baca is one guy who can generate scoring,” he said.
Tim Roybal pitched well early. Grady scored three runs early off fielder’s errors, but Tucumcari batters were getting on base in every inning and had a 5-3 lead heading into the fifth inning.
A Grady player hit a two-run homer off Roybal in the top of the fifth inning to tie the game. John Sewell came in to pitch for Roybal in the top of the sixth and allowed one run.
Down 6-5, Baca let loose with a deep double, allowing a base runner to score, and then a Grady fielder overthrew second base and Baca rounded third base to score the go-ahead run. Matt Braziel hit an RBI single to put Tucumcari on top 8-6.
All Tucumcari had to do was make it through the top of the seventh inning. John Sewell pitched with poise under pressure, fanning three batters in a row to ice the game.
Logan vs. Moriarty JV
The Moriarty JV team had too much firepower for the Logan Longhorns as they beat Logan 13-2 Friday morning.
The Longhorns had a 2-0 lead midway through the first inning, but Moriarty went ahead 3-2 heading into the second inning. The Longhorns’ pitcher, Brett Sanders, kept Logan in the game up until the sixth inning.
Moriarty, facing a Longhorn relief pitcher, went on a batting spree as they went on to win 13-2. Moriarty JV plays Clayton in a semi-final game Saturday. Longhorn coach Nick Knippa said his starting pitcher is one to watch.
“Brett Sanders pitched about 98 pitches,” said Knippa. “He’s our go-to guy.”
Justin LeBlanc had two hits for Logan.
Runs Hits Errors
Logan 2 2 6
Mor JV 13 16 0
San Jon vs. Estancia
The San Jon Coyotes hit the ball well late in the game, but it was too late to counter an explosive Estancia offense. The Bears won 16-7 to advance to play Tucumcari Saturday.
San Jon went up 1-0 in the first inning off a wild pitch from the Estancia starting pitcher. Estancia answered with two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
The Coyotes left runners stranded in the second inning while Estancia racked up 5 quick runs to go ahead 7-1.
In the top of the third inning, San Jon’s Trey Rusk doubled and then Will McEntire got a base hit to score Rusk. McEntire made it to home plate off another wild Estancia pitch to make the score 7-3.
Estancia batters showed no mercy in the fourth inning as they went through the batting order to go ahead 16-3.
The Coyotes showed determination by hitting the ball well in the fifth inning, scoring four runs. Seven Coyote batters had base hits in the fifth inning.
The game had reached its two hour limit by then, and the victorious Bears of Estancia took the rest of the day off to think about playing the Rattlers Saturday morning.
Runs Hits Errors
San Jon 7 14 8
Estancia 16 15 5
Clayton vs. Santa Rosa
The Santa Rosa Lions scored two runs early in the game, but by the end of the fifth inning, Clayton had a 12-2 lead as the umpire declared the game over. The Yellow Jackets had 11 hits for the game while Santa Rosa managed only three. Clayton faces Moriarty JV in a semi-final game Saturday.
Runs Hits Errors
Clayton 12 11 2
S Rosa 2 3 8