William Thompson:Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari High School baseball team found it slow going in the first game of a doubleheader against Clayton, losing 5-2 at Rattler Field. In the second game the Rattlers had a little more electricity, winning 9-7 in a game called in the sixth inning due to lightning.
Clayton pitcher James Diller stymied Rattler batters. He pitched a two-hitter and some Rattlers were saying Diller’s pitching release was unusual, throwing them off a little.
Rattler Coach Tony Alarcon wasn’t buying his players’ excuses.
“Our players have seen this pitcher for three years,” Alarcon said. “We just had an off day. We couldn’t hit, and four of their (Clayton’s) runs were unearned.”
Rattler John Sewell said Diller had control of the ball.
“He was throwing the ball where he wanted it,” Sewell said.
“I don’t know why I couldn’t hit him though.”
Rattler Drew White managed to hit a double off Diller but agreed with other players about Diller’s pitching motion.
“He had a weird release,” White said. “He held the ball up high for a long time before he threw it.”
White and Braziel provided Tucumcari’s only offense, getting RBI’s in the bottom of the sixth.
Runs Hits Errors
Tucumcari 2 2 1
Clayton 5 9 1
The Rattlers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead when Eric Holt blasted one out to deep left in the second inning. With his speed he was able to run all the way to home plate for an inside the park three-run homerun.
The Rattlers from then on were a little more loose than in game one. Although Clayton rallied to tie, Tucumcari scored five more runs in the fourth inning. Sewell hit a two-run triple and White added an RBI double.
Clayton began a comeback in the fifth inning closing to within two runs at 9-7. Mother Nature came to the Rattlers’ rescue as the umpire called the game in the top of the sixth inning when lightning flashed through the sky overhead.
Coach Alarcon liked how the hitting picked up in the second game.
“Our hitting improved and we produced more runs,” Alarcon said. “Defensively, we came alive. We are on our way to Santa Rosa Tuesday.”
Runs Hits Errors
Tucumcari 9 11 1
Clayton 7 8 0