Serving the High Plains

Rattlers win home opener on new diamond

The Tucumcari baseball team’s first game on its new baseball field Saturday turned out to be a triumphant one, an 8-6 victory over Estancia.

Juano Martinez hit a key two-run triple for insurance runs late in the game. Luis Archuleta also went 3-for-4 with three RBI and a double.

Josh Griego earned the win, pitching 3 1/3 innings and allowing just one earned run while striking out four.

Griego also scored four runs after drawing three walks and being hit by a pitch once.

Tucumcari coach George Montano also praised the defense by second baseman Archuleta and shortstop Pat Garcia.

“Defensively, we’re not making errors. On the offensive side, we’re not swinging the bat. Estancia swung the bat, hit gaps and scored runners. I hope the boys noticed if we hit the ball, we score runs like they did.

“I’m glad we got the win, but our performance could have been better. We made it tough, but we fought back, never got down on ourselves.”

Estancia fell to 0-3.

Montano also enjoyed his team winning its debut on its new field.

“Fans came out and were loud,” he said. “Lights worked; we had a scoreboard. A little cold, but a great day for baseball. I believe it’s what we needed to hopefully get going.”

Raton 15, Tucumcari 5

Hampered by four errors, Tucumcari dropped its season-opener 15-5 after five innings Thursday at Raton.

The Rattlers managed just two hits. Kamren Apodaca had both hits and stole three bases for the Rattlers, and Garcia scored two runs.

Raton grabbed an 11-3 lead after three innings.

“We didn’t look bad,” Montano said. “We scored in nearly every inning. The umpire had a larger strike zone, and the boys let that control the game instead of adjusting. We can’t do that.”

Montano said bad fielding by his team on a bunt led to a seven-run inning by Raton.

“After that, we couldn’t get it back together,” he said. “We left the bases loaded three times.”

Raton improved to 1-3.

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