Category Archives: Colt Baseball

Colt baseball earns post-season accolades

Coach Steve Rogers talks with his battery – catcher Jake Guerrero and pitcher Gavin Maloney – during the Colts’ state quarterfinals game vs. Hope Christian on May 11, 2017.


NMMI Sports Press

The Colt baseball team may not have won the 4A state title, but they’re well represented in post-season honors.

Six NMMI players were named to the 4-4A All District team, led by seniors — and future Broncos — Jake Guerrero and Michel Hinojos, and junior Gavin Maloney, who each made the first team.

Head coach Charlie Ward, prior to the Colts’ state playoff game vs. Hope Christian.

“Our district was unbelievable,” said coach Charlie Ward. “We talked about them all season, with Moriarty, Hope, Ruidoso and Portales. Some great kids. We have a lot of respect for program and each player on these all-district teams.”

Guerrero made the team as a catcher, Hinojos an infielder and Maloney as a pitcher and outfielder.

“Those guys, you can’t say enough about them,” Ward said. “Key players on our team. They represented the team extremely well.

“Gavin, we have another year with him and it’s going to be exciting to have him back. What a gamer. What a player. So we look forward to having Gavin back. But Jake and Michel, what about them? They get to play college baseball for the Broncos and coach (Chris) Cook. We’re tickled pink to see them play this game of baseball. All those guys they’re well deserved all district.”

Three other Colts made the honorable mention squad: juniors Connor Roe, an infielder/utility player and Francisco Rivera, shortstop and catcher; and sophomore Alejandro Lopez, a second baseman/shortstop.

The Colts will also be well represented at the annual 1A-4A North-South baseball game in Rio Rancho June 9-10.

Michel Hinojos with the ground-rule double into the gap between center and right, plating a run in a big seven-run fourth inning for the Colts – game vs. Hope, May 11, 2017

Not only will Guerrero and Hinjos be competing, but Colt coach Charlie Ward will helm the South team.

The two easily made the made the squad on first team ballots, “So we’re very proud they had that opportunity,” the coach said.

They join three seniors from Portales and Ruidoso and one each from Moriarty and Hope Christian, along with players from Capitan, Cobre, Floyd, Lordsburg, Santa Rosa, Silver and Tularosa.

And Ward, who’s coached the North-South team twice before, is equally excited about coaching the “Dirty South” against the North team.

“We’re going to represent this league and the North-South as best we can,” he said. “We’ll play with class and we’ll respect the game, but they’re called “Dirty South.”

With several of his coaching staff tied up the weekend of June 9-10 and unable to attend, Ward will bring assistant coach Steve Rogers as well as invite other district coaches to join in the fun competition.

“I’m trying to ask any of the coaches from our district, because I have a lot of respect for those coaches and if they want to help it would make it awesome,” he said.“I’m going to have such great memories.”

The New Mexico High School Coaches Association sponsors the all-star weekend, which will be held at Rio Rancho High School. The three-game series is set for 7 p.m. June 9 and 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. June 10.

Two Colts commit to play baseball for Broncos

Surrounded by family, friends, coaches, and teammates, Colt seniors Michel Hinojos and Jake Guerrero (seated left and right) commit to stay at NMMI and play for the Bronco baseball team next season.

 

Jake Guerrero

NMMI Sports Press

Bronco baseball coach Chris Cook didn’t have to look far to pick up two players for next year’s team, and he hopes it’s a trend that will continue in the future.

Just before they headed off to the high school state tournament, Colts Michel Hinojos and Jake Guerrero committed to play for the college squad, continuing their history with NMMI.

“It’s exciting,” Cook said. “They’re getting ready for state so obviously they’re good players on a good team. They’re well coached and guys who know what NMMI’s about. They’re familiar with our program and how we do things, and having guys who have the ability to play at our level and stay here at school is a big plus, so we’re excited about getting these two guys in.”

Michel Hinojos

Both players see staying at NMMI as a way to further their goals of eventually playing for bigger schools.

“I’m just trying to get to the next step and I felt like this would open options to other colleges after I leave here,” Guerrero, who’ll study sports management, said.

“I came back to play baseball, have a better education, do my best at academics and try to play DI, DII.” echoed Hinojos, who’s looking at a career as a civil engineer.

Guerrero, a Roswell native, played for the Colts as a freshman on the varsity team. Hinojos, who hails from Sonora, Mexico, started as a sophomore. They’ll be following in the footsteps of former Colt Francisco Galvez, who played for this year’s Bronco baseball team, and Cook hopes that’s something that will continue.

Catcher Jake Guerrero dives to try and make the play on a foul pop-up behind home plate – game vs. Portales on Apr. 21, 2017.

“Hopefully in the future we can grab more Colt players, and just keep this streak kind of going,” he said. “We’re excited about it and look forward to them and working with these guys.”

Hinojos pitched and played infield for the Colts. He batted .489 as a senior and was 7-4 on the bump. Cook is looking forward to seeing him hit.

“I really like the left-handed bat that he has,” the coach said. “I’d like to see him match up against college pitching on a daily basis and see what kind of power can develop out of his swing.”

Michel Hinojos with an RBI ground-rule double in the Colts’ State quarterfinal game vs. Hope on May 17, 2017.

Guerrero was a .461 hitter with a 2-2 record on the mound in 2017, and Cook sees him as getting a chance to try a little bit of everything with the Broncos.

“Jake is kind of an interesting utility guy who has a big frame and I’d like to see him get in our weight room and see how much weight we can put on him,” he said. “Positionally, it’s hard to say because I know he’s caught, he’s played first, he’s pitched. We’re going to get him doing multiple positions next fall and really try to get him to put some meat on those bones and start getting him to drive the baseball. I think where he’s going to be 12 months from now, that’s what’s exciting.”

Colt coach Charlie Ward had nothing but praise for his senior players.

Jake Guerrero rounds second on his 2-RBI triple in the third – game vs. Goddard JV, Mar 17, 2017.

“What an honor to coach Michel Hinojos for three years; Jake Guerrero for four years,” he said. “True leaders. True captains of the baseball team. Team players. Very competitive. They’ve worked hard for this team. They love the game of baseball and they understand playing at the next level is going to take a lot of hard work, but we’ve enjoyed it as coaches.”

And Kim Guerrero, Jakes’s mother, was happy for her offspring.

“Both dad and I are very proud of Jake,” she said. “This has always been a goal of his, to play at the next level, and he’s worked hard and sacrificed a lot. So we’re very, very proud and excited that he’s going to play for coach Cook and the Broncos. Coach Cook has a great program and more than anything else, we’ll get to continue to watch him because we live in Roswell.”

Michel Hinojos comes up to play a slow roller down the third base line – game vs. Loving, Mar. 28, 2017. Photo courtesy A.J. Roe

Ward said the pair know what it will take to succeed at the next level.

“It’s hard work. It’s almost like a job,” he said. “It’s a business-type mentality but we’re just proud of them that they want to play at the next level. We’re very honored to be a part of their lives, these past three or four years.”

And while the players thanked their parents, coaches and teammates for helping them advance, Kim Guerrero gave her son all the credit.

“He loves playing baseball. He just has a joy when he plays,” she said. “It’s just so much fun. I didn’t even have to play my mommy card. He made this decision all on his own. And we especially want to thank coach Ward and especially coach Rogers. They’ve been such a positive influence on Jake.”

Colts unable to hold on against Hope

Michel Hinojos with the ground-rule double into the gap between center and right, plating a run in a big seven-run fourth inning for the Colts.


Paul Burrow

NMMI Sports Press 

NMMI ace Gavin Maloney with a pitch in the first inning of play.

The NMMI Colts ventured to Rio Rancho High School to take on the No. 1 seeded Hope Huskies in the quarterfinals of the New Mexico AAAA State Baseball Championships. The district foes meet for the fourth time this year and to the dismay of the rather large Colt contingent, the fourth time was not the charm as NMMI fell 10-9 on a walk-off hit by pitch.

NMMI out-hit Hope 11-5 but eight errors, nine walks and two hit batsmen did in the Colts. Hope had just one extra base hit in the game with four singles, while NMMI seniors Michel Hinojos stroked two doubles and Jake Guerrero boasted a triple and a single to provide the power for the Colts.

NMMI shortstop Francisco Rivera with the throw to first after a ground ball.

Francisco Rivera had two Colt hits as well. Guerrero, Rivera, and another senior Alex Lopez all had two RBI’s. Guerrero and Hinojos each scored twice for the Colts.

Hope opened the scoring in the bottom of the first taking a 2-0 lead as starter Gavin Maloney gave up a two-RBI single to Brandon Bagon. Maloney settled in after that with three straight three up and three down innings.

NMMI answered back in the top of the second when Hinojos led off with a booming double off the right-center field wall that just missed going out of the park. Guerrero moved him over with a groundout and Lopez followed with a sac-fly to move the Colts to within 2-1.

Coach Steve Rogers talks to his battery between innings: catcher Jake Guerrero and pitcher Gavin Maloney.

In the fourth, the Colt lineup woke up and batted around sending twelve batters to the plate and scoring six runs on six hits and three walks to grab an 8-2 lead. With their ace on the mound, the Colt faithful felt the victory within grasp.

Hope was not to be deterred as they responded in the 5th inning by sending eleven batters up but with a decidedly different way of scoring as the Colts contributed with three errors and four walks to extend the Huskies batting. Hope was able to tally six runs to tie the game up at 8-8 and shed a whole new light on the game.

NMMI moved back into the lead in the top of the 7th when Guerrero got his second hit of the game with a single, moved to second on a stolen base and to third on a wild pitch. Alex Lopez worked a walk, and moved to second on a stolen base to bring up Emilio Maldonado with one out. This is Coach Ward’s favorite baseball strategy of small-ball as Maldonado and Guerrero executed a perfect squeeze play. Guerrero took off for home during the pitcher’s windup and Maldonado laid down a bunt out in front of the plate. The Hope pitcher had no choice but to throw Maldonado out at first as Guerrero scored before the bunt was even fielded to put the Colts up 9-8 going into the bottom of the seventh.

Alejandro Lopez narrowly missed getting a two-run dinger during the Colts’ rally in the fourth. He sent one out of the park down the right field line, but it was foul by about 15 feet. Lopez did manage an RBI single during the at-bat, keeping the rally alive.

Guerrero relieved Maloney on the mound in the 5th inning, helping the Colts end the Husky rally. He then pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the 6th inning with a huge strikeout, but the 7th was to be another story. Guerrero walked the first two batters and then his defense let him down as a force play at third could not be executed. The initial error was then compounded as the throw-back to the pitcher sailed over everyone’s head up the right field line allowing the tying run to score. The Colts then elected to intentionally walk the next Husky batter to load the bases, allowing for a force out at home. Coach Ward’s strategy worked, as the next Hope hitter hit a grounder to second, which Hinojos promptly relayed to catcher Rivera for the out at the plate. But the next batter was hit by the pitch, driving in the winning run for about an unusual walk-off as you will ever see.

Fausto Baranzini rounds third and heads for home after an RBI single by Francisco Rivera in the fourth.

Coach Ward in his dismay commented,” I hurt. I hurt for the boys. We did great things today on offense. We’re a great team. It was a great year. We had our chances, just didn’t get it done. Give Hope Christian credit for making the comeback, but to beat the No. 1 team in the state, you just can’t give them extra outs. We kept responding – we fought. We just didn’t make the last play and they did. They were the better team today.”

The Colts end their season with a 17-11-1 record while Hope moves on to the semifinals against the winner of the late game between Silver City and Taos. NMMI graduates seven seniors from this year’s team.

Early graduation for Eight Colts headed to state

From left to right: Jose Carlos Baranzini Rebeil, Fausto Baranzini Rogel, Octavio Lopez, Jake Parker Guerrero, Aaron Guadalupe Sanchez, Michel Alejandro Hinojos Chavez, Sierra Jane Walker and Emilio Maldonado Zuzuarregui

From left to right: Jose Carlos Baranzini Rebeil, Fausto Baranzini Rogel, Octavio Lopez, Jake Parker Guerrero, Aaron Guadalupe Sanchez, Michel Alejandro Hinojos Chavez, Sierra Jane Walker and Emilio Maldonado Zuzuarregui

Eight high school cadet student athletes were honored with an early graduation ceremony on Wednesday afternoon at the Mabee Auditorium in the Toles Leaning Center on the NMMI campus: seven members of the Colt baseball team and one member of the Lady Colt track and field team.

Both NMMI teams qualified and will compete in the NMAA’s Class 4A State Championships this weekend, and might otherwise miss the Institute’s normal high school graduation ceremony scheduled for Saturday.

The Colt baseball team takes on top-seeded Hope Chrisitian in the quarterfinals at 1:00 pm on Thursday at Rio Rancho High School.

Sierra Walker, along with her sophomore sister Mia Walker, will compete in several events – including the 800m, 1600m and 3200m runs – on Friday and Saturday at UNM’s track and field complex in Albuquerque.

Best of luck to our eight early grads this week at state and at the next level!

Colt outlast offensive onslaught by Dons to advance in State playoffs

NMMI shortstop Francisco Rivera makes a play on a ground ball, early in game two vs. West Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy A.J. Roe

NMMI shortstop Francisco Rivera makes a play on a ground ball, early in game two vs. West Las Vegas. Photo Courtesy A.J. Roe


NMMI Sports Press

The NMMI Colt baseball team downed the Dons to move on to the quarterfinals of the NMAA’s Class 4A State playoffs, needing just two games to win in the first round best-of-three series.

The first game Friday was a close and low-scoring affair, with the Colts collecting a shutout 2-0 win over West Las Vegas.

Saturday’s game was in many respects the complete opposite, with NMMI holding on to win a hit-fest, 11-10.

The Institute offense went to work early, plating all eleven of their runs in the first four innings.

After starting pitcher Michel Hinojos stopped the Dons without a run in the top of the first, NMMI scored three in the bottom off a pair of lead off walks to Francisco Rivera and Connor Roe, an RBI single by Gavin Maloney, a sacrifice fly by Hinojos, and an RBI ground out by Jake Guerrero.

Hinojos again blanked WLV in the top of the second, and the Colts again battered away at Don starter James Archuleta, this time bringing four runs across. Emilio Maldonado started with a single into shallow right, Roe drew the base on balls, Maloney drove in one run with an RBI double, Hinojos picked up his second and third RBIs with a single, and Guerrero got the final RBI with his second post-season triple.

In the third, both teams went scoreless, but it was ‘game on’ again in the top of the fourth. The Don bats finally caught fire, using a hit batter-single-double-single combination to score three runs in the fourth.

Undaunted by the Don offensive awakening, NMMI came back with another four runs in the bottom half of the stanza, putting the score at 11-3. Maloney led off with a walk, stole second, then went to third on a throwing error. Hinojos got his fourth RBI of the game with another sac fly. Guerrero then singled to start things up again, followed by both Alejandro Lopez and Gunnar Schwab reaching on errors, with two runs scoring during the melee. The final Institute run came on a two-out RBI single over the shortstop’s head by Fausto Baranzini.

But the Dons didn’t lay down and die. Their hot hitting continued with seven runs off nine hits over the final three innings.

After a two-run top of the fifth, the Dons chased NMMI starting pitcher Hinojos from the mound with a four-spot in the top of the sixth. Guerrero got the final out of the inning, then got the save after giving up one run in the seventh – with two outs and runners on second and third in a 11-10 ballgame, Guerrero got the next Don batter to ground out to short, giving NMMI the victory.

NMMI’s offense was again led by Maloney, who went 2 for 3 with three runs scored and a pair of RBIs. Hinojos was 1 for 2 with four RBIs, and Jake Guerrero was 3 for 4 with two RBIs.

“What a series! What a game!” exclaimed head coach Charlie Ward during the post-game interview. “To go 2-0 yesterday and then 11-10 today. Winning it with runners on second and third. We made it closer than it should have been, but give credit to the Dons. They fought and battled; they came to compete and they capitalized on our mistakes.”

Coach Ward also wanted to give some special credit to Francisco Rivera, who has been the day-in, day-out shortstop for the Colts all season. “Francisco hasn’t played catcher for three years, but when I needed to bring in Guerrero to close out the game, Rivera was right there, ready to go behind the plate. He did an excellent job – great team player.”

“We’ll take the ‘W’,” finished Ward. “Hinojos gave us everything he could, and Guerrero closed it out. I’m proud that we won the series. Now the magic number is three and we’re headed to the next part of state. We’ll celebrate the victory tonight, then get ready for Albuquerque next week.”