Left: Roswell Baseball Institute’s Drew Price tosses a pitch during the first inning of the RBI Rox 2-0 victory over Manzano Friday at Goddard High’s Launch Pad.
Right: Roswell’s Carlitos Montoya hurls one during the fifth inning of a victory over Lovington Friday at the NMMI Ballpark.
Both local squads, the Roswell High summer team and the Roswell Baseball Institute’s Rox, went 1-1 on the first day of the 2017 Sunrise Optimist Baseball Tournament Friday.
Roswell lost a close one 6-5 to Carlsbad in the midday heat at the NMMI Ballpark, while RBI was tuned up by Clovis 14-3 at Goddard High’s Launch Pad.
But the late afternoon and early evening brought cooler temperatures and some good mound work for the host teams as Roswell blanked Lovington 8-0 in five innings and RBI shutout Manzano 2-0.
Roswell High senior Carlitos Montoya allowed a handful of hits against a familiar foe in district rival Lovington, but got better as the game progressed. Montoya was 0-for-1 in three trips to the plate, but got on base each time with two walks and an infield error.
Rhett Stokes scored a run for Roswell in the top of the first, stealing home while Lovington dealt with Matt Otero heading for second base. Two more runs came across in the third as Kaleb Wright scored on a Raul Guzman hit to shallow right field and Stokes crossed home for the second time in the game while Otero was pickled between first and second.
Roswell put up five runs in the top of the fifth to help end the game early by the tournament’s eight-run mercy rule. Stokes scored for a third time on a Xavier Lomeli groundout, Otero and Derek Natividad came in when a routine 6-3 out went awry, and the final two scores were the result of a Xavier Sosa single that pushed Xavier Gonzales and Drew Graham home.
Montoya K’d the first two hitters in the bottom of the frame before getting a groundout to end the game.
RBI got the 2-0 win over Manzano to keep their gold bracket hopes alive as Drew Price and Matt Shanor were money from the hill. The young Rox got just enough offense to get the job done against the Class 6A squad from Albuquerque.
The Coronado-El Paso T-Birds and Clovis were each 2-0 at the end of Day 1.
Pool play continues today at both ballparks, as Roswell meets the T-Birds of El Paso at 11:30 a.m. at the Launch Pad, while RBI takes on Aztec at the NMMI Ballpark at the same time. Once pool play ends, the teams will be seeded with the top two squads from each pool being placed into the gold bracket and the bottom four squads in the silver bracket.
The first bracket games begin at 5 p.m.