San Jon Invitational begins

William Thompson

San Jon dominates Clayton
The Rattlers varsity baseball team came up short against Cimarron at the San Jon Invitational by a score of 7-4 Friday. Tucumcari had a 4-3 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but the Rams had a three-run sixth inning to ice the game.
Rattlers Coach Mike Russell told his team after the game that they are close to being a winning team.
“We need to improve on the little things,” said Russell. “We’re not playing bad ball, but we have to take it up a notch.”
The “little things “ the coach was referring to may have been several fly balls mishandled by Rattler outfielders. Also infielders overthrew their target from time to time.
The Rattlers did hit well again. Dustin Russell, was 2 for 2 with two RBI’s. Matt Braziel pitched well but he wasn’t as proficient as he was against Estancia in his previous outing.
Down 7-4 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the Rattlers loaded up the bases. With two outs, A.J. Molinas stepped up to the plate. His Rattler teammates were hoping for something big as Molinas is known for hitting the long ball.
Molinas hit a high fly deep to center field, but the outfielder snagged it, ending Tucumcari’s hopes for a comeback.
Molinas was dejected after the game, but Coach Russell urged him to shake it off.
“The breaks have just not gone our way today,” said Russell.
Runs Hits Errors
Cimm 7 8 4
Tcum 4 5 7

San Jon vs. Clayton
The San Jon Coyotes baseball team must have had early plans for Friday evening because they scored so many runs so fast that their game against Clayton was called after just four innings. The final score was 18-3. San Jon’s Coach Waymon Ragland summed up his team’s emotional state.
“We’re really excited,” he said. “The kids really did it today.”
The Clayton Yellow Jackets scored three runs in the top of the first inning. The Coyotes answered with two runs in the bottom of the first.
From then on, San Jon’s starting pitcher Jonathan Brashear held Clayton scoreless. By the third inning Clayton still had a 3-2 lead, but Brashear retired the side and San Jon came up to bat. Tyler Adams sacrificed for an RBI to tie the game. Jared Archeleta doubled to score a runner, and Danny Shetter did the same as San Jon went up 5-3.
Brashear struck out three batters in a row in the top of the fourth inning and then everything went San Jon’s way.
Virtually every San Jon player got a hit or was walked in the fourth inning.. Clayton even changed pitchers when San Jon went up 9-3. Facing his first batter, the Clayton reliever balked, which allowed a San Jon player to score.
The Clayton defense did not get their first out until San Jon was up 16-3.
The Coyotes scored two more runs and the umpires called it a ballgame.
Runs Hits Errors
S Jon 18 10 7
Clayt 3 4 7