By William Thompson: Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari High School baseball team swept two games at Clayton Friday. Now, the Rattlers (12-6) will play the winner of the Santa Rosa- Clayton game during the district tournament Wednesday at Rattler Field.
If the Rattlers win, they will be district champions and gain an automatic berth in the state tournament.
Facing Clayton’s ace on the mound, James Diller, Tucumcari batters got enough hits to win, 5-2. Matt Braziel was the winning pitcher. John Sewell hit a home run and Michael Baca got on base three times.
Rattler Coach Tony Alarcon said Baca had an outstanding game.
“Michael got some good hits at vital times,” Alarcon said.
Diller had stymied Tucumcari batters in a previous outing.
Coach Alarcon said his players hit Diller easily the second time around.
“Our team played with intensity,” Alarcon said. “We got the job done.”
Tucumcari jumped on Clayton early, going up 7-0 in the second inning in a game the Rattlers won, 12-9.
“We just ripped the ball hard,” Coach Alarcon said. “We hit the ball effectively throughout the lineup.”
Alarcon said the Rattlers gave up some runs in a sloppy fourth inning, allowing Clayton to get back in the game. Clayton eventually tied the Rattlers.
“John Sewell hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and Joe Hurley hit a single home run in the eighth to seal the victory,” Alarcon said.
Matt Braziel came on in relief and was the winning pitcher.
Alarcon said the team feels good about the game and what it means for the rest of their season.
“Our guys are excited. They know they have one more game to claim the district and go on to the state tournament,” he said.
Cheer the Rattlers
The Tucumcari Rattlers will play the winner of Santa Rosa-Clayton at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Rattler Field for the district championship.
Santa Rosa and Clayton play at 1:30 p.m.