Rattlers take Santa Rosa Lions

William Thompson

In a game that was tied twice, the Tucumcari varsity baseball team came away with an 11-7 win Thursday evening at Santa Rosa.

The Santa Rosa Lions were hosting Tucumcari as part of their invitational tournament. The Rattlers spoiled the hometown team’s hopes of a tournament championship by continuing to hit the ball well, especially when they needed some runs. Rattler Coach Mike Russell had no complaints about the Rattler batting.

“We dug ourselves into a hole at times with our defensive play,” said Russell. “We dug ourselves out of the hole with our hitting.”

Tucumcari began the game by scoring three runs in the first inning. Tim Roybal, Drew White and Matt Braziel each had an RBI in the inning. In the bottom of the inning, Roybal pitched to just three batters, retiring the side. Santa Rosa picked up two runs in the second inning. With only one out it looked like the Lions might have a big rally, but third baseman A.J. Molinas scooped up a grounder and threw the runner out at first base. Drew White then fired the ball to catcher Joseph Hurley at home plate. The would-be scorer for Santa Rosa plowed into Hurley without sliding. Not only was the runner called out, he was also ejected from the game for knocking Hurley down on the play. All the Rattler players cheered the double play which prevented a Santa Rosa rally. Santa Rosa tied the Rattlers 5-5 in the fifth inning. John Sewell hit an RBI single in the top of the sixth inning and the Rattlers went ahead 7-5. Later in the lineup, Levi Montano hit a two-run RBI and the Rattlers went up for good 10-7. John Sewell, in relief for Roybal, pitched a perfect sixth inning. He struck out three Lions in a row, and the Rattlers yelled with delight as they headed into the dugout.

Sewell did more than pitch well in the seventh inning. The first batter he pitched to tried to make it all the way to home plate off a wild throw to first base from an infielder.
The Santa Rosa player’s desperate run to home plate was thwarted when Sewell threw him out at home plate.
The next two batters hit grounders to second baseman Matt Garcia. Garcia fielded each ball and threw both runners out at first base to secure the Rattler victory. Coach Russell was relieved after the game.

“It would have felt bad if they (Santa Rosa) had come back on us and won,” said Russell. “We came back when we were down and hit the ball well. It’s nice knowing that when the game is on the line, we’ve got some firepower.”
Russell noted that Tucumcari is batting over .300 as a team.
Runs Hits Errors
S Rosa 7 5 4
Tucum 11 14 9