Locals stumble in tourney

William Thompson

Tucumcari vs. Estancia
The Rattlers’ baseball team lost 15-4 to the Bears of Estancia, ending the Rattlers’ hopes of winning their home tournament. Estancia had 18 hits for the game and Rattler Coach Mike Russell said he might know why.
“It looked like the Estancia batters were reading our pitchers’ mail,” said Russell. “We hit the ball well enough early to win, if only we could have played better defense.”
The Rattlers finished with an impressive ten hits for the game. Lamar French hit a double and Levi Montano hit a triple. Also, Matt Braziel, A.J. Molinas, and John Sewell hit RBI’s for the Rattlers.
Runs Hits Errors
Tucmcri 4 10 3
Estncia 15 18 2

Tucumcari vs. Moriarty JV
Tucumcari lost a consolation game to Moriarty JV by the lopsided score of 20-3. The Moriarty team began collecting runs early. Rattler Coach Mike Russell pulled his starting pitcher in the third inning with Moriarty already up 7-2. Two innings later, the game was called. Coach Russell assessed his team’s main weakness.
“Right now we don’t have tremendous depth in our pitching staff,” said Russell. “Our team may have it rough for awhile until we get more experience in our defensive play.”
Freshman Drew White might provide part of the solution. He came on to pitch for the first time this season in the very last inning and allowed no runs. Another freshman provided an offensive spark for Tucumcari, the coach’s son, Dustin Russell. Russell hit a triple against Moriarty JV, and in the game against Estancia he hit a single. Russell said he had to give his son a chance to play.
“He has never played organized baseball in the past,” said Russell. “He had been hitting the ball well in practice, so I gave him a shot. He did better than the team had probably expected.”
Runs Hits Errors
Tcum 3 3 5
Mrty 20 14 0

Logan vs. San Jon
The San Jon Coyotes took care of Logan 16-9 Saturday afternoon. By the bottom of the third inning, the Coyotes had built a 7-4 lead. Logan’s Brett Sanders made things interesting by hitting a two run homer.
San Jon came on strong in the fourth inning. Jason Bell tripled. Trey Rusk sacrificed to score Bell. John Brashear stole third all the way from first base. and Will McEntire hit a RBI and then scored himself off a wild throw to third base. San Jon Was up 10-6. The Coyotes continued to hit the ball well the rest of the game. Assistant Coach for San Jon, Jeremy Stoner, summed up his team’s performance.
“All of our guys were hitting the ball well,” said Stoner. “Yes, everyone of them was hitting the ball.”
Logan’s Coach Nick Knippa was equally brief in summing up his team’s play.
“We had way too many errors,” said Knippa. “I count 13, but it may have been more like 15 -20 errors.”
Runs Hits Errors
S Jon 16 13 6
Logan 9 9 13

Clayton vs. Estancia
The Estancia Bears jumped out to an early lead, and excellent pitching from their starter, Lorenzo Garley, propelled the Bears to the championship of the Route 66 tournament. Estancia won 10-1.
Estancia Coach Phil Clark said he was pleased with his team’s overall performance.
“We hit the ball well,” said Clark. “Our pitching was good throughout the tournament.”
Clark noted that Kyle Berkshire hit a double and a triple in the championship game.
“We are 6-1 now, and we got a good look at the other teams in our district,” said Clark. “This is another step in our improvement.”
Runs Hits Errors
Clayt 1 1 5
Estan 10 10 3

All Tournament Team
Josh Jantz of Estancia was the MVP of the Route 66 tournament. Jantz’ teammate, Lorenzo Garley, made the all tournament team. A.J. Molinas and Matt Braziel made the all tournament team from Tucumcari.