FLOYD — The Floyd Broncos didn’t hit the ball as well as they’d like on Tuesday.
It didn’t matter.
Taking advantage of four walks, four hit batsmen and five Elida errors, Floyd rolled past the Tigers 13-3 in a first-round game of the Class 1A state tournament game, which was called in the bottom of the fifth inning because of the 10-run lead rule.
Most of the damage came in the second inning, when the second-seeded Broncos (16-7) plated nine runs for a 10-0 lead.
“We were real selective (at the plate),” said Broncos senior pitcher J’Kobie Lee, who went the five-inning distance on a two-hitter. “We took a lot of walks and we were aggressive on the bases.”
The neighboring rivals, separated by 19 miles, were placed in separate districts this season and thus had not played before Tuesday. Elida coach Jimmy Ward said the teams had an early-season game canceled after both made the state basketball playoffs.
The Broncos will face either third-seeded Gallup Catholic or No. 6 Questa, who also met on Tuesday, in a 2 p.m. semifinal game next Wednesday at the University of New Mexico’s Lobo Field in Albuquerque. Gallup Catholic beat Floyd 10-1 in last year’s state title game.
It wasn’t Elida’s day. The seventh-seeded Tigers (15-8) managed two third-inning runs despite four Broncos errors, and they hit into two double plays.
“We just didn’t hit the ball,” Ward said. “We played tight, and I don’t know why. We had nothing to lose.”
After Elida’s Jordyn Tivis struck out the first two hitters in the bottom of the first, Lee was hit by a pitch, stole second, took third on a passed ball and scored when Reyes Chavez hit a ball that deflected off second baseman Alex Varela’s glove and rolled into left-center for an RBI double.
The first seven Broncos reached base in the second. The only hits in the frame were a leadoff single by W.T. Whitecotton, an RBI bunt single by Wyatt Chandler, and a run-scoring single by Luis Ortiz.
“It gives you a little bit of breathing room,” Lee said of the offensive outburst.
He said he’d struggled in his previous couple of outings.
“I just couldn’t throw strikes; I think in one game I walked four people in a row,” Lee said. “I threw about three bullpen sessions between then and now, and I think I’m back to normal.”
The only Elida hits were RBI singles by Taylor Boone in the third and Laneith Chenault in the fifth.
Floyd finished with seven hits.
“Neither team really hit the ball that hard, but we did what we needed to do,” Broncos coach Darwin Chenault said. “We put the ball in play a lot.”