Rout forces Rattlers to refocus

By Chelle Delaney: QCS Correspondent

The Portales Rams junior varsity baseball team defeated Tucumcari’s varsity 17-3 Thursday at Jennings Field. Twelve of the Rams’ runs were scored in the sixth inning when the Rattlers’ defense faded from the mound.

After the game, Tucumcari coach Tony Alarcon had no comment except that the team needed to refocus before its 4 p.m. Monday doubleheader against district rival Clayton.

The Rattlers (10-9) held their own against the Rams JV (16-4) until pitcher Aric Trujillo ran out of gas in the sixth inning. The Rams sent 18 batters to the plate, with 13 straight batters reaching base in the sixth against four Rattler pitchers.

Rams pitcher Phillip Danbom, who pitched the entire game, hit a single, bringing in two of the 12 runs in the inning.

Portales coach Chris Bachicha said Danbom would likely be the No. 4 pitcher for the Ram varsity squad, but the transfer from Dora High School cannot play varsity this season due to New Mexico Activities Association’s transfer rules.

“He’s been really dependable,” Bachicha said of Danbom, who struck out five. “He hit his spots pretty good.”

Matt Smith, the scheduled starter for Monday’s doubleheader opener against Clayton, was the last relief pitcher to come to the mound in the sixth. He finally put an end to the Rams’ rout. Before the game, Alarcon said a goal of the game was to save the arms of Smith and Gabriel Anaya for Monday.

The top hitter for Tucumcari was left fielder Andres Apodaca, who went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Top hitters for Portales were Danbom, 3-for-5 with four RBIs, and Logan Erf, 1-for-2 with two RBIs.

Tucumcari scored three runs on five hits, committing six errors. Portales scored 17 runs on 10 hits with two errors.

In the opening match between Portales JV and Tucumcari JV, the Rams won 14-3.