NMMI Sports Press
NMMI shot an 18-over 302 to finish fifth in the Western New Mexico University hosted tournament.
“It was like a roller coaster today,” said Bronco coach Skip Gooch. “Some of them played a very good front nine and a very bad back nine, or a bad front nine and a good back nine.”
Jin Ho “Peter” Choi finished tied for fifth with an even-par 71, shooting four over on the front nine and four under on the back. Paul Montoya shot one under on the front nine “then drowned a couple of golf balls and ended up with a 75,” Gooch said.
Lucas Bohannon shot 77, Arturo Quintero 79 and Edward Schlensig 82 on a perfect day for golf.
“It was an absolutely gorgeous day,” Gooch said. “We can’t blame anyone on the weather. The golf course was exceptionally fast.”
The coach said he wasn’t sure what was happening.
“If you had a good front you had a bad back. It was mental as much as anything,” he said.
The Broncos will try to improve on Sunday’s scores when they tee off for the second round Monday at 8 a.m. at the Lonestar Golf Club.
NMMI Sports Press
ARTESIA — The Bronco bats were stronger Sunday in the second doubleheader of the young season, but it still wasn’t enough to get a win as NMMI fell twice to Colby Community College, 4-3 and 18-10.
“We started to hit better today,” said coach Chris Cook. “We saw some good things. The series was very lopsided but in reality, a couple of balls fall the right way for us, and defensively, if we make some PFP plays, and some infield balls don’t get through, it’s a different series.”
Game 1 was a pitcher’s duel, as Carlos Ortiz pitched a string five innings, allowing three runs — only one earned — on five hits. He struck out six.
The Trojans went up 1-0 in the first on a solo home run by Ben Dalke, but the Broncos matched that in the bottom of the stanza when Winston Welch singled and Alex Howard tripled him in.
Colby added two more runs in the third, taking advantage of two NMMI errors, but the Broncos fought their way back.
They made it 3-2 in the fourth when Chris Suarez hit a two-out single and John Mareks doubled him home, only to be thrown out at third trying to stretch.
The Institute tied it in the sixth on a Howard home run to left, and things were looking good for the home team.It continued that way through the sixth, as Cub Turcotte came in in relief, allowing only one runner to reach base. He got the first two batters in the seventh, but then threw 14 straight balls, including a wild pitch that scored the go ahead run.
Derek Troger came in and got the final out, but the Broncos couldn’t score in the bottom of the seventh.
Game 2 belonged to the hitters, with each side trading the lead before Colby finally hung on for the victory.
Home runs were plentiful on both sides.
A two-run homer by Dalke made it 2-0 in the top of the first, but NMMI matched that score when Pancho Mariscal reached on an error and Howard hit his second dinger of the day. Turcotte made it 3-2 NMMI when he hit one out of the park in the second.
The Trojans teed off on starter Alex Garcia in the third, scoring four runs on two singles, two walks and a big triple by Cole Schneider.
NMMI closed to within one in the bottom of the third on a double by Colby Brown and home run by Welch, but the visitors added another trio of runs in the fourth.
The Broncos tied it for the last time, 9-9, in the bottom of the stanza off Colby reliever Dan Carseldine
John Jensen led off with a double; Mariscal and Brown walked; Welch singled, scoring Jensen and Mariscal; Howard singled, scoring Brown; then, after another Trojan pitching change, Felix and Turcotte walked, scoring Welch.
But NMMI couldn’t get anyone else home, despite having the bases loaded, and Colby added two runs in the fifth, six in the sixth and one in the seventh. The Broncos added a solo run in the sixth when Felix walked, took second on a two-out wild pitch and scored on a pinch-hit single by Shawn Moore.
Cook didn’t sound too disappointed at the slow start to the season.
“The point of the early part of the season for us is just to see what we’ve got,” he said. “We haven’t had a lot of opportunities outside, and we’ve got get guys some opportunities live to get their feet wet and see what the combinations are going to be for down the road.”
And, with another series on tap next weekend — again in Artesia — he knows things can change.
“We had some guys do well offensively and on the mound. We’ve just got to find the right combinations and we’ve got to keep scoring more runs. I think we’re capable of doing that. We just haven’t put it together yet, but we’ve got 52 games left.”
NMMI Sports Press
The junior finished second in both the girls 100-yard freestyle and the 100-yard breast stroke — which would have earned her a state berth no matter what her time was. But her times were so good — 56.98 in the free and 1:12.90 in the breast stroke — that she would have qualified nevertheless.
“Tamara swam very well,” said coach Jan Olesinski.
She had personal bests in both races, improving both times by several seconds.
Also qualifying was Tamara’s bother, Juan Diego Flynn, who finished second in the 50-yard freestyle, cutting his time by .30. He also finished fifth in the 100-yard backstroke.
Both Ben Clemens and Jason DiNio took home eighth-place finishes in the 50 free.
The Carlsbad finishes mean seven Colts will be traveling to Albuquerque to compete in the state meet Feb. 19-20.
Senior Emily LoCascio has qualified in the 200-meter individual medley and 100-meter breast stroke, and the boys 200-meter medley relay team of Juan Flynn, Trevor O’Bryon, Donovan Cuellar and Ben Clemens will also be competing. (Joshua Piñon will also go, as he swam when the Colts requalified the relay.)
And with the season coming down to the final meet, Olesinski was happy with how his team did.
“Everyone swam good races,” he said. “Our goal was to qualify another two swimmers, which we did.”
NMMI Sports Press
ARTESIA — It wasn’t be best of season starts for the Bronco baseball team Saturday. Playing at Brainard Field in Artesia — because the NMMI baseball field is under renovation — the Institute fell to Colby Community College 14-2 and 3-2 in a seven and nine inning doubleheader.
The reason was simple: the Bronco bats were cold, especially at key times.
“Game 1, we just didn’t execute pitches early and got kind of sloppy,” said NMMI coach Chris Cook.
Bronco starter Anthony Martinez didn’t fare well, giving up five runs in the first inning and another five in the third. Preston Inman came in in relief in the fourth, getting out of two innings unscathed, but two errors, two walks and a big Trojan double added four more runs in the sixth.
“Tony’s a guy who’s been really good for us all year, up until this point,” Cook said. “He just had a bad outing. Pitching was good, outside of that. It comes down to scoring runs.”
The only Bronco runs came in the third, when John Jensen led off with a single and came home on a Pancho Mariscal home run.
Game 2 went NMMI’s way for eight full innings, with pitchers Kody Jones, Kyle Bosworth and Chris Suarez shutting Colby down. Jones went a full five innings, allowing only three hits while striking out five.
NMMI, meanwhile, got a run in the fourth on a solo home run by Winston Welch, and in the fifth when Jenson walked, advanced on two outs then scored on a single by Alex Howard. But the Broncos stranded nine runners, and Colby made a ninth inning comeback.
Facing pitcher James Santiago, Trojan Luke Cox drew a one-out walk. Brian Granton reached on an error that scored Cox, then, with two outs, another error and a double brought in two more runs, giving Colby their first runs of the game.
Colby reliever Ben Dalke set NMMI down 1-2-3, and that was it.
“We didn’t hit,” Cook said. “Pitchers pitched a heck of a game and we need to score more than three runs. Left bases loaded twice late in the game. Left a run on the field in the very first inning. It’s like I told the players: it doesn’t matter if they score three in the ninth or three in the first, we still lost. We can’t look at it like we lost that game in the ninth inning. We lost that game in the first through the eighth innings. It was good to see the pitchers, almost all of them, pitch well enough to get out of that game. We’ve got to hit and score some runs.”
The two squads will be back in action Sunday beginning at noon, with Carlos Ortiz scheduled to pitch the seven-inning opener and Alex Garcia the nine-inning nightcap.
Cook said the Broncos just need to put Saturday behind them and try to get on the winning side of the ledger.
“You can’t pout long because you’ve got to play the next day,” he said.
As for playing on the Artesia field, “I like it,” Cook said. “The sun gets a little tough at the end of the games, but it’s a great field to play on. There’s no complaints whatsoever about this facility.”
NMMI Sports Press
“My guys are solid,” said NMMI coach Skip Gooch. “They can get better and I’m sure as the season progresses they will do that. They’ll all improve.”
Four of the five played during the fall season, and while the Broncos weren’t at the top of the leader boards in any tournaments, they steadily improved, and Gooch thinks his squad can be in the mix when it comes time to qualify for the NJCAA national tournament.
“It’ll be a long shot, and we’ll really have to perform, when it comes time to perform, but we have a shot at going to the national championship,” he said. “It’s slim, but we’re going to scrap for it. We’ll be scratching and try to make it, so we’ll see what happens.”
While the team members are constantly battling for position, Jin Ho Choi, “Peter” to his teammates, should fill the No. 1 position.
“He’s salty. He’s a scratch golfer pretty easy,” Gooch said.
During a qualifying practice on a frigid, windy afternoon, Choi, who comes from South Korea but grew up in South Africa, shot one over in what Gooch called “miserable conditions.”
Playing No. 2 is one of the three New Mexicans on the squad.
Paul Montoya hails from Rio Rancho, where he golfed for Cleveland High School.
“He’s performing very well,” Gooch said of this semester’s team captain. “He’s stepped up to that responsibility, and so far it hasn’t affected his game. He’s doing very well. He’s solid. He will shoot that same one under, even par, one over almost every round.”
No. 3 is Albuquerque golfer Lucas Bohannon, who played for La Cueva.
“He again is solid,” the coach said. “Lucas can come unhinged a few times, but hopefully he doesn’t do it in the middle of a tournament. We’ll do it in practice. But he can play well.”
Filling the No. 4 slot is the spring newcomer, Arturo Quintero, from Venezuela.
“He’s showing some solid work, right now,” the coach said. “He hasn’t gotten to play in a while, and of course the weather here has rocked us back. He’s just now getting his wheels rolling and catching up, but he’s showing some good potential for me.”
Rounding out the squad is Alamogordo golfer Edward Schlensig.
“He’s steady,” Gooch said. “He struggles, but whenever it comes time to perform, he’ll shoot in the low 70s. So he’s a good backup. If somebody blows up, then Edward’s always there to cover the bases.”
At most tournaments, five golfers compete with the top four scores counting. So the players are constantly battling to move up, and that, Gooch said, offers motivation to improve. So does the possibility of making it to nationals.
To qualify for the Florida championship, the Broncos have to finish in fifth or better in one of two late-season qualifying tournaments, which Gooch thinks they can do.
“By the time we roll around to that, the guys will have their wheels rolling and we’ll be in good shape. I’ve got high hopes right now.
“That’s kind of the motivation I’ve been feeding them. I don’t expect them to play perfect golf, but as a team, if they will qualify well, as a team we’ll score in that top four or five area and be able to move on.”
Before the qualifying tourneys, the Broncos will compete in tourneys in Texas, Hobbs and at home.
Gooch calls the NMMI Invitational “fun, “ but also grueling.
“It’s a hell on wheels tournament, because we start at seven in the morning, and they go 36 holes straight, and it’s usually getting close to dark by the time they finish,” he said. “Hopefully the physical fitness part of the NMMI guys will help. It’s a grinder. It’s a real grinder.”
But with a mix of D1, D2, NAIA and junior colleges, the coach said it’s also great to watch.
“I invite all the people in Roswell (to come out.) If they want to see good quality college golf, come to the NMMI Invite. It’s the last weekend in February. Come out as spectators and they’ll see some good quality golf. It’ll be impressive.”
The Broncos open the season Monday at the Cactus Thaw just down the road in El Paso.