Rattlers advance to quarterfinals

Thomas Garcia

A Tucumcari Rattler baseball team focused on limiting mistakes capitalized on errors to advance to the state quarterfinals at Rattlers Stadium Wednesday.

Rattler George Montano stole home after a wild pitch got away from Laguna-Acoma’s catcher, junior Thomas Silva, clinching the 13-3 win over the Hawks.

“Even before coach gave me the go-ahead, I knew I was going,” Montano said. “I had a smile on my face the whole way home.”

Montano said the team had been working on limiting errors all week during practice. He said as a catcher, he recognized the opportunity to score once the ball got away.

“It’s one thing you never want to happen with the winning run on third,” Montano said.

Hawks head coach Lawrence Ramirez said he had spoken to the team all season about the consequences of errors.

“We played well for the first few innings,” Ramirez said. “We made some critical fielding errors in the outfield and over the plate.”

Ramirez said the team stranded too many runners on base.

“You need those runs if you are going to compete at this level,” Ramirez said.

The batters stranding those runners were facing Senior Jantzen Darnell, who pitched the entire game for the Rattlers.

“It was the last home game. I wanted to finish it out,” said Darnell. “Coached asked to let him know if I got tired. My arm feels good. I’m ready to move on.”

The third-seeded Rattlers will play sixth-seeded Pecos at 2 p.m., Wednesday at Cleveland High School in Albuquerque.