By Thomas Garcia
QCS Senior Writer
The Tucumcari Rattlers baseball team 8-9, staved off the Pecos Panthers in extra innings Monday at Tucumcari.
It took 10 innings for the Rattlers to overcome the 13-7 Panthers.
Rattler senior Saul Moriel hit the walk off double that brought in fellow senior Javier Villanueva for the winning run.
“I knew I had caught the ball just right, I actually thought I hit a home run,” Moriel said.
With two outs and the pitch count at two balls and one strike Moriel said he cleared his mind and tried to be patient.
In the three previous innings, the Rattlers had runners on base with an opportunity to put the game away but couldn’t bring in the scoring run.
“We have to focus on hitting better and scoring in those must need situations,” said Tony Alarcon, Rattlers head coach.
Moriel connected, Villanueva rounded second base and got the go-ahead signal from Alarcon to take third and head for home.
“As soon as I saw coach give me the go-ahead, I kicked it into high gear,” Villanueva said.
Villanueva said the Rattlers left too many runners on base or tagged out trying to get into scoring position. Pecos also managed to rally three runs in the sixth inning to force the tie because of Rattler errors, putting the game squarely on the Rattlers offense.
Alarcon said the Rattlers defense held strong in those extra innings, not allowing a run, and Moriel three more than 80 pitches in the clutch.
The Rattlers play at 4 p.m., Thursday against Laguna Acoma.
The Lady Rattlers Softball team 5-8, 0-2, split wins on April 17 at Logan and lost a double header Saturday at Dexter.
There next game is at 4 p.m., Thursday against Santa Rosa.
The Logan Longhorns baseball team, 6-6, will begin district play at 4 p.m. Friday against Melrose in a double-header.
“The guys have continue to improve on their mental focus and eliminating errors on defense,” said Kene Terry, Longhorns head coach.
The Lady Longhorns Softball team, 1-11, lost a double-header to Raton on Monday.
The Lady Longhorns next game will be a double header on Monday at Raton.