Serving the High Plains

Raton shuts out Rattlers in baseball opener

The Tucumcari boys baseball team managed just one hit during a 17-0 season-opening loss Saturday at Raton.

The game was shortened to 4 1/2 innings by the mercy rule.

The Tigers scored seven runs in the first inning and eight in the second to seize control. Raton pounded 14 hits and drew six walks.

Eighth-grader Luis Archuleta’s infield single was the only hit for the Rattlers.

Tucumcari coach George Montano said his starting pitcher, Johnathan Blea, had trouble getting control of his pitches “and when they hit it, we made errors.”

“They maybe earned three to four runs the whole game. We gave them the rest by not doing the little things,” he added. “Everything we have done in practice leading up to this game wasn’t done in the game.”

Josh Griego relieved Blea on the mound “and handled it well,” Montano said. “He went after every batter that he faced and did a great job.

“We’ll get back to the field and evaluate some changes that need to be made,” he said, “and hopefully come out ready to play Thursday against Mora.”

Raton used five pitchers during the game, compiling 10 strikeouts and allowing just two walks and the solitary hit.

“Their coach said they are senior loaded, and I believe it,” Montano said. “Four of the five pitchers they they threw had a lot of speed. The one other kid had a lot of different pitches and each pitch had a lot of movement on it. I was very impressed with their rotation.”

Raton improved to 1-1.