Rattlers fall short in nailbiter

by Thomas Garcia: Quay County Sun

By Thomas Garcia
Quay County Sun
The Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team finished the season as region A/AA champions and narrowly missed continued competition in the play offs.
“This was a very tough emotional loss for our team,” said Rattlers Coach Tony Alarcon. “We went into the game pumped up and determined to pull off an upset against the number 2 ranked team in the state, Lordsburg.”
The Rattlers lost Wednesday by one run, 20-19, in the first round of the state playoffs against the Lordsburg Mavericks at Albuquerque.
The Rattlers had a 11-point lead going into the fourth inning but the momentum changed and the Mavericks scored four times in the fourth, two runs in the fifth, three runs in the sixth and one run in the seventh while the Rattlers did not score for the rest of the game.
The Rattlers went through four pitchers in the game trying to hold off the Mavericks.
The Rattlers C.J. Newman pitched solid through 5 innings until he gave up a two run homerun to the Mavericks Scott Esquivel.
Rattlers coach Alarcon then brought in first baseman Drew White to pitch. White got off to a rocky start in the fifth giving up two hits and two bases on balls before striking out three to close out the inning. White, after walking three batters and loading the bases, was relieved at the bottom of the sixth by Andrez Apodaca
Apodaca tried his best to contain the Mavericks but also loaded the bases a second time in the inning with walks and walked in two runners that allowed th Mavericks to tie the game 19-19. Debord did not finish out the inning, but was relieved by eighth-grader Jakus Martinez who struck out the next two batters to close out the inning.
The Rattlers had a chance to take the game into extra innings with the Mavericks with two outs and one man on base in the bottom of the seventh. Mavericks Edward Parra hits a base hit which scored Esquivel from second base.
The Rattlers ended their state title chase 20-19.
“We are very proud of our kids, they played with a lot of heart and determination,” said Alarcon. “Overall it was a successful and productive season.”

Drew White 4 of 5, grand slam and 8 RBI
Adrian Prieto 4 of 5, a grand slam and 4 RBI
Raymond Jimenz 4 walks, 1-5, scored 4 times
Matt Garcia 2 RBI