The Colts have a five-game winning streak and are headed to their second championship game in as many weeks, but it was a much tougher game vs. Tularosa Friday at the Sertoma Colt Classic than it was against the Wildcats in the semifinals of the Hal Bogle Tournament.
Tulie led twice in the game, and with starting pitcher Gavin Maloney just a little bit off, it took something from everyone else — including reliever Mateo Fierro — to get the 15-6 victory, which was a lot closer than the score showed.
“I told the team, Gavin didn’t have his best stuff, but he gave us everything,” said coach CHarlie Ward. “A lot of heart. A lot of fight, and when he doesn’t have his best stuff, that means the team’s got to step up. And they did. Mattie came through and Mattie got the win because it was a tie when he came in. That’s a tough break (for Maloney), but congratulations to Mattie on the win.”
The game went back and forth through the first five innings.
Tularosa went up 1-0 in the first, then the Colts came back to make it 2-0 in the bottom of the stanza. The ’Cats added another two in the top of the third, but the Institute came back with two in the bottom of the stanza, and one each in the third and fourth, to lead 6-3 heading into the fifth.
But it was Tulie’s turn to score big in the top of the inning. Maloney hit the first batter he faced in the inning then gave up a triple to designated hitter Sean Kernahan, adding one Wildcat run. Fierro came in to pitch, and while two errors, a hit batsman and a single brought in two more runners, Fierro got out of the inning without any further damage, leaving it tied at 6-6
NMMI came back in the bottom of the stanza and started making it look a bit like the DExter semifinal, which the Colts won on a 13-run fifth inning. With one out, Michael Hinojos singled, pinch hitter Eli Aguilar was hit and after both advanced on a passed ball, pinch hitter Teryn Surratt scored HInojos on a fielder’s choice and an error that saw him reach base.
Francisco Galvez then walked, but when Peter DeGroot struck out, things looked a lot more grim. But Fierro helped his own cause with a single that scored three runners and got him to third on a pair of Tularosa errors. The inning ended when Haden Maloney was called out on batter interference, but the damage was done.
The Colts led 10-6, and never trailed again.
Fierro only allowed one more Wildcat hit in the final two innings, and although a running mistake by NMMI sent the game to the full seven innings — holding off the mercy rule by one run — the Colts added another five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
The Colts only had nine hits in the game, but they took advantage of eight Tularosa errors and managed to make their four not too costly.
“They’re finding ways to win,” Ward said. “Not pretty defensively, but we scored in every inning. Those are called crooked numbers. You say you want to get a crooked number every time in each inning, so that’s a very big positive for us to do that.”
DeGroot and Fierro led the way offensively, going 2-for-4 with one run scored each. DeGroot had 3 RBIs and Fierro one. No one else had more than one hit, but Galvez scored three times and Surratt scored twice with 3 RBIs off the bench.
On the mound, Fierro got the win, allowing no runs on two hits, two walks and three strikeouts in 2-1/3 innings. Maloney went 4-1/.3, giving up six runs, three earned, on five hits and four walks. He struck out seven.
The Colts will square off against defending Sertoma champ Texico, a team they defeated handily in the opening round of the Hal Bogle Tournament. Ward doesn’t think it will be nearly as easy Saturday.
“Everybody’s mentally tired,” he said. “It’s spring break. They just got out today. These kids, they’re excited about leaving NMMI for nine days, but you know what? We’re in the championship. Texico won last year. We won it the year before so it’s going to be a great championship.”
And what about the big win in Dexter?
“Yeah, we know, but anything can happen,” Ward said. “That’s just baseball and it won’t be a big margin this time. They’ll throw their whatever. We’ll throw Michael Hinojos tomorrow night. We’ve got a great chance with him, but it still takes the team doing their jobs and getting better. We’re trying to get better, but hey, 6-2 with five wins in a row, you can’t beat that.”
NMMI Sports Press
NMMI wrapped up Day 1 of the Roswell Sertoma Colt Baseball Classic with the fourth 10-run game of the tourney, topping Capitan 11-1 to advance to Friday’s semifinals.
The Colts came out hitting hard and never let up.
“Pleased with that,” said Institute coach Charlie Ward. “Putting the ball (in play.) Hitting the ball hard. Some of us had some poor at-bat situations. Didn’t sit back. Didn’t keep the weight at the front side and that’s a little frustrating, but they’re kids and they’re competing and we’re just trying to get better as a team.”
While pitcher Haden Maloney was throwing a one-hit, five-inning complete game — he struck out seven, walked none and the only run was unearned — the Colts bats were solid, sending nine runners to the plate in the first.
Peter DeGroot singled and stole second, then scored on a single by Danny Jaramillo. Jaramillo then stole second — one of nine thefts for the Colts in the game — advancing on a ground out by Maloney.
The game then paused briefly for what appeared to be an injury to Tiger starter Price Bowen, who left the game cradling his elbow. Reliever Dominic Salcido didn’t have any better luck slowing down the NMMI bats, walking Gavin Maloney and Jake Guerrero, and giving up three runs on wild pitches.
Evan Sabo then came in, and, after a walk and a balk, got out of the inning with a line out and strike out. Still, the early damage was done, as the Colts led 4-0.
NMMI added two more runs in each of the next three innings, but after Capitan got their lone run in the top of the fourth — scoring on a single by eighth-grader John Rogers, one of three eighth getting a second chance graders on the team, a fielder’s choice and a misplayed grounder — they had to play one final inning to win by the mercy rule.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Jaramillo reached on an error and stole second. Both Haden and Gavin Maloney walked and, with pinch hitter Ryan Dement at the plate, the left fielder scored his second run of the game on a wild pitch.
Colt second baseman Michael Hinojos was perfect at the plate, going 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored. Both DeGroot and Jaramillo were 2-for-4 — Jaramillo scoring two runs and RBIs, and Degroot three runs — while pinch hitter Ian Curnutt was 1-for-1 with a big 2 RBI triple.
“We just hit the ball at the right times and Ian Curnutt came in at the right time, got his two RBIs,” Ward said. “It’s just about the team. I care about them doing the little things right.”
And while the Colts did make one error and had a running mistake, Ward is seeing improvement.
“We’re getting better. Our base running’s getting better,” he said. “Francisco (Galvan) showed some poor judgement at third base and he got called out, and he’s got to do a better job because they can’t do that. They know it’s unacceptable in my book. So we’ve got to play better. But you know what? We got a W today. We had four great games; tomorrow’s going to be another four.”
Friday’s four games start at 10 a.m. with Gateway facing off against Hatch Valley, which fell to Texico 17-2. Capitan will square off against Santa Rosa at 1:30 p.m., with Dexter taking on Texico at 3 p.m. and NMMI repeating a semi-final matchup vs. Tularosa at 6 p.m.
“Now we’re on a four-game winning streak, which is exciting, but now we have a chance to be in the semis against Tulie, somebody we saw in the Dexter semis,” Ward said. “It’s going to be an excellent ballgame. They’re improving. … They’re going to have one of their better pitchers. We’re going to have Gavin Maloney, who’s a good one, too. We expect good things out of Gavin, the team’s just got to do good things, too.”
For NMMI Sports Press
DEXTER —NMMI didn’t have any explosive innings Saturday in the championship game of the Hal Bogle tournament in Dexter, but they did have an explosive ending to the extra-inning matchup vs. Pecos.
The Colts won the tournament for the first time in many years —maybe ever —with a walk-off sacrifice that gave them a 5-4 victory over Pecos.
“i’m so proud of my kids,”said coach Charlie Ward of the nail-biting finish. “We made mistakes but we came through, and that’s what counts.”
For 6-1/3 innings, the Institute the game was close, but in NMMI’s favor.
Both teams had their chances early on, but neither could capitalize. Finally, in the bottom of the second —it was the first time in the tourney the Colts had won the coin toss to be the home team —the Institute broke through. Jake Guerreo singled and courtesy runner Jack Tingwall advanced to third on a single by pitcher Michel Hinojos and a Panther error, but Tingwall was cut down at the plate trying to score on a wild pitch, something that had Ward fuming.
One out later, however, Teryn Surratt brought Hinojos in, and NMMI led 1-0.
They added two more runs in the third, scoring when Peter DeGroot was hit; Danny Jaramillo reached on an error; both stole a base then DeGroot came in on a wild pitch and Jaramillo scored on a long out by Haden Maloney.
The first Pecos scoring came in the fourth, when two errors led to one run. Hinojos was in trouble almost every inning, but he either came up with strikeouts to keep the on-base runners from scoring, or the defense made some fantastic plays, including an unassisted shortstop to first baseman DP in the third, and a fine catch by Guerreo on a bunt just in front of the plate in the fourth.
The Colts added an insurance run in the fourth when Francisco Galvez walked; walk balked to second; reached third on an error and came home on a passed ball. That drove Pecos starter Daniel Saenz off the mound, and reliever Jason Henderson got out of the inning without any further damage.
Another double play made the sixth a 1-2-3 inning for Hinojos, and it looked like NMMI would get the win.
But the Panthers weren’t done, taking advantage of a hit batter, two NMMI errors and the best hitting they’d had all game —four straight hits —to tie the game at 4-4.
The Colts couldn’t take advantage of two hit batsmen and an error in the bottom of the inning, so the game went into extra innings. In the top of the eighth, Colt reliever Mateo Fierro got two quick outs but then a double and single made it look like the Panthers would go up. But the runner on second was cut down on a fine throw from left fielder Jaramillo to Fierro who relayed it to catcher Guerrero for the third out at the plate, leaving the crowd of NMMI fans sighing in relief.
And in the bottom of the stanza, Surratt reached base on an error. Fierro walked and DeGroot advanced both with a sacrifice. That brought Jaramillo to the plate, and while the one-out play didn’t go exactly as planned, his sacrifice brought Surratt home and started the celebration.
Tournament MVP Maloney credited the Panthers with a tough performance, saying he’s never played in a game like that. Galvez and Gavin Maloney were also named to the All-Tournament team.
The Colts now have a week off —or to possibly work on fundamentals —before they open their own tournament Thursday at 7 p.m. against Capitan.
NMMI Sports Press
DEXTER — The second huge inning in as many days propelled NMMI into the championship game of the 17th annual Hal Bogle Tournament in Dexter Friday. After playing close for four innings, the Colts exploded for 13 runs in the top of the fifth, beating Tularosa 15-2 in the first semi-final game of the day.
“We responded in a baseball game (tied) 2-2 in the fifth,” said Institute coach Charlie Ward. “We haven’t been in a situation like that and that was fun to watch and you saw what we did.”
What they did was send 17 batters to the plate in the fifth, scoring 13 runs on seven hits, three walks, two hit batters and five Wildcat errors. And they did it all with one out. Then, unlike Thursday, where they gave up big runs after their own big inning, they held Tulie scoreless in the bottom of the stanza to win by the mercy rule.
After pinch hitter Danny Jaramillo grounded out to short, Francisco Galvez started the scoring barrage with a single and stolen base, then leadoff hitter Peter DeGroot followed with an RBI single and the rout was on.
Galvez had two singles and two scored runs in the inning; pitcher Haden Maloney and his brother Gavin each doubled; and catcher Jake Guerreo, third baseman Eli Aguilar and Jaramillo each singled.
Jake Tingwall put the Colts on top in the first, reaching on a two-base mistake by the ’Cats, then coming around on a single by Gavin Maloney. NMMI made it 2-0 in the second when Galvez singled, stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and came home on a long fly ball by DeGroot.
Haden Maloney was in trouble almost every inning, with two runners on in the first and second, and one in the bottom of the fifth, but the only time it came back to haunt him was the third, when Tularosa scored two runs on a walk, single, throwing error and RBI out.
He set the ’Cats down 1-2-3 in the fourth, struck out two of the final four batters he faced, and Ward was pleased with his pitcher’s resolve.
“That was a good sign,” he said. “And that was our senior. That’s why we put him second (in the rotation.) We weren’t going to take any chances. You can’t be in the championship if you don’t win the semifinal. You don’t save nobody. And the kids know that. Each game is for a reason, so Haden came through. Maturity, then the team made some plays and we’re just trying to get better every game. At the same time, we’ve got a winning record, 3-2, and we’re in the championship game. That’s all you can ask.”
The young Colt squad still has learning to do, but Ward wasn’t nearly as vocal about the mistakes as he was the day before.
“There’s always learning; every day,” he said. “We made another base-running blunder. Had a freshman at second base after we’d just gone over it and did it yesterday. But hey! We got lucky. They threw it into the dugout and we got two out of it. We did better base running overall. We did better defense. Still made some crucial errors at short. We didn’t charge one at second with DeGroot.”
Despite sitting in the No. 9 slot, Galvez led the Colt hitting, going 3-for-3 with three runs scored, two stolen bases and an RBI. Gavin Maloney was 2-for-4 with 3 RBIs and one run scored. On the mound, Haden Maloney only allowed four hits, walked three and struck out six.
Ward joked about the recent big innings.
“I’m hoping tomorrow we do about 10 or 11 (hits) again,” he laughed. “That’s our new goal. Every inning we have a goal to hit 10. Not really. We’ll just be happy to keep playing good baseball and try to get a W tomorrow.
The Colts will face Pecos Saturday at 7 p.m.