Tiger baseball has struggled at home of late, dropping non-district matchup with 4A Ruidoso on May 27 and both ends of a varsity doubleheader against our nearest district rival, Cobre. So far, the team has been trying to find its footing on the newly turfed Diamonds of Tiger Fields, as wins have proven to be elusive for this young Tiger team, with seven freshmen and eighth graders on the varsity squad and only two seniors.
Against a tough Ruidoso team, the Tigers battled, trying various line-ups in an effort to put some runs on the scorecard in the 0-17 loss. Starting pitcher Joel Trevizo had early success, striking out the first Ruidoso at-bat, but then struggled against the experienced team.
In all, the Tigers put up four pitchers looking for success against the visitors. Zeke Baquera took over the mound in the third inning, Kaidyn Lanham in the fourth and Domonique Escobar in the fifth but the Tigers could not solve the riddle.
At the same time, Tiger bats fell uncharacteristically quiet, getting only an unprecedented two hits in the game that was called after five innings.
Though there were a few nice plays in the field, the game was one the Tigers would just as soon put behind them.
The real excitement at the diamonds that day came when the JV game started up. Tiger JV starting pitcher Hunter Montoya found a good rhythm early on, striking out three in the first inning. When the Tigers turn at bat came in the inning, bats that had been quiet in the varsity game started singing.
First up, Sammy Acosta got a hit off the first pitch, and got on base. When two Tigers then ere dropped in strikes, things looked grim. Then, fourth in the rotation, Hunter Montoya stepped up to the plate and hit a single, and earned an RBI, bringing Acosta home. Next up, one of the team’s two seniors, Juan Garcia picked up the bat and walked to first base on balls thrown. In the course of those four balls, Acosta made his way to second, then third and finally stole home for a run, all while Garcia was still at bat. When new to the team Gavin McClintock came to bat, a great Tiger play was made. McClintock struck out, but on the third strike the catcher missed the ball and McClintock showed the team just how fast he was by beating the throw to first and when the Ruidoso first baseman missed the throw, he kept right on going, turning a catcher error into a triple. McClintock’s tenure on third didn’t last long, as next up, eighth grader Ashton Garcia hit a single and brought him home. By the time the first inning was over, the Tigers had pulled ahead, 4-3.
At the bottom of the second, the score was still tied up, 6-6, and it wasn’t until the third that the Ruidoso squad started pulling ahead. They put six more runs on the scoreboard while the Tigers managed to add to their score too, but not enough. The score stood at 8-12 when the fourth, and as it turned out, final inning began.
Though the game was still a 8-13 Tiger loss, called after four innings due to time, it showed what the Tigers can do against a team more comparable to themselves in age and experience.
Against Cobre on Tuesday, June 1 the Tigers fell in game one 0-17 and game two 1-13, both being called after five innings.
Next up, is a road trip to Hatch for a varsity doubleheader against the Tigers main rival. That one starts at 1:00 p.m. A district varsity doubleheader is next on the docket after that, when Socorro pays a visit to the Diamonds Tuesday, June 8, also starting at 1:00 p.m.