Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Rattlers lose four


April 10, 2019

Ron Warnick

Tucumcari's Andrew Casteel can't corral a throw after Dexter's Isaac Irigoyen steals second during the first game of a doubleheader Saturday at Rattler Field.

Fielding and mental errors continued to plague the Tucumcari baseball team during doubleheader losses to Mora and Dexter last week.

On Saturday, coach Dwayne Roberts also dealt with a short-handed varsity roster during 18-1 and 16-2 home losses to district foe Dexter (7-5). Four Tucumcari starters missed the game for varying reasons. That included No. 2 starting pitcher and third baseman Alijah Jimenez, who drew an in-school suspension and would have to sit the next four district games.

With Tucumcari players plugged into positions on the diamond where they were unaccustomed, they committed 12 errors during the first game against the Demons.

"We can see how we struggled," Roberts said. "We had guys in places where they weren't used to playing. It's hard to throw guys into a position where they haven't been practicing."

The Rattlers (1-9) totaled just nine hits during the Dexter doubleheader. But it wasn't the lack of offense that bothered Roberts so much.

"The defensive side of the ball is just killing us," he said. "Sure, I'd love to be slamming it, but it doesn't matter if we're slamming if we can't get anybody out."

Dexter coach Arturo Duran could relate to Roberts' problems. He said he lost what had been a close game April 2 to Sandia Prep when four errors in the fourth inning led to 12 runs and a 14-2 loss.

"It was a better feeling the way we played today," Duran said. "We didn't have any errors, the pitching was there, and we hit the ball. It's a good feeling to come back and compete like we know how."

Tucumcari's lone run in the opening game came in the first inning when Joey Dysart walked, stole second and scored on Isaac Arias' single.

In the second Dexter game, Roberts elected to empty his bench to see how well his younger players would perform.

"I don't want to say we gave up, but I wanted to see what we got," Roberts said. "I played those young guys because I need to look at them. We're going to have to have them step up. It gave me a look to see what we need to work on and who can work in certain spots."

Tucumcari scored two runs in the fourth. Dysart reached base on an error, Arias singled, and Dysart scored on a wild pitch. Sunny Estrada rapped an RBI single.

Tucumcari dropped its road doubleheader April 1 at Mora by 8-3 and 7-3 scores.

In the first game, all eight of Mora's runs were unearned, due to Tucmcari's errors.

Jimenez went 2-for-2 in the game with a walk and a run scored for the Rattlers.

In the second Mora game, Tucumcari had scored a run in the fifth inning and was still batting when the game was called because of darkness.

"We were actually starting to hit really well in that game," Roberts said. "I'm not sure we wouldn't have won the second game (if they kept playing)."

In game two, Dysart went 2-for-3 with a run scored and a double.

"I don't have any complaints about the Mora games," Roberts said. "We had a good attitude, and we had everybody there. Wed didn't lose on the batting side; it was the errors."

Mora improved to 5-1 overall.

Floyd 6, Grady 5

A comeback bid by the Bronchos fell short during a 6-5 road loss April 1 at Floyd.

Grady-San Jon fell behind 5-0 and 6-1 during the game, but rallied for four runs in the sixth inning.

Starter Chisum Rush look the loss, striking out 12 in six innings. Nic Richardson hit a double during the sixth and had two RBI, and Tanner Phillips also contributed a big hit to continue the inning.

"We're showing resiliency that I expect of my kids," Grady coach Jared Piepkorn said. "We can surprise teams and score a few runs. Our pitching was good enough to win. We have up too many outs in the field. We allowed runs that should not have been there. Mistakes like that lose baseball games. But we never stopped fighting, and that's our goal - keep fighting until the last pitch is thrown."

Floyd improved to 3-1.

Logan 20, Tucumcari JV 13

The Logan baseball team scored nine runs in the seventh inning to secure a come-from-behind 20-13 victory over the Tucumcari junior varsity on April 2.

Kyle Knight led the Longhorns (2-4) with a 4-for-6 performance with three RBI. Dante Sanchez went 3-for-4, including a home run, with two RBI.


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