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Dexter overcomes mistakes and defeats Capitan

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Fernando Polanco hits a pitch Tuesday against Capitan. (Jeannie Harris Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

DEXTER – The Dexter Demons (9-2, 4-0) and Capitan Tigers (5-6, 2-2) had a combined 11 errors in their District 4-3A contest Tuesday afternoon at the Hal Bogle Sports Complex. The Demons were able to take advantage of the miscues en route to a 4-1 win.

“We can’t seem to get away from the error bug; it’s hurt us in these district games. We played Eunice Saturday and the same thing happened,” said Capitan head coach James Weems.

The Tigers’ first boo-boo took place in the bottom of the second inning as Dexter starting pitcher Matt Otero walked and later stole second. He then reached third on a miscue and later scored on a fielder’s choice. Capitan starting pitcher Brenden Usrey was able to get out of the inning as Dexter’s Marco Munoz grounded out for the final play.

The error bug bit the Demons in the top of the third as Otero struck out lead-off hitter Garrison Weems. Clay Bob Stearns hit a single to left field and later advanced to second base on a flub. The Demons were able to overcome the mistake as Usrey flew out to left field and Price Bowen struck out.

After the Demons left the field, the error gremlins left too. Dexter’s lead-off hitter Iassac Irigoyen doubled and went to third on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a Jaime Chavira single.

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A Capitan error allowed Chavira to advance to second base. He was able to move to third on a wild pitch and he scored on another Tiger gaff. That same misstep allowed Fernando Polanco to score as well as the home team had a 4-0 lead.

The error bug took another break during the fourth inning, and in the top of the fifth, Dexter head coach Arturo Duran decided to make a pitching change as David Miramontoes came in.

The error bug decided to come back as Capitan’s Aaron Fish reached base on an Demon misjudgement. Miramontes was able to get out of the inning without the Tigers inflicting any more damage.

In the bottom of the fifth, Chavira was the lone Demon baserunner. Yes, an error helped him get on base. Capitan’s defense woke up as the Dexter junior didn’t cross home plate.

The Tigers were able to score their lone run of the game after Usery led off with a double and later scored on two Demon mistakes. Miramontes was able to get out of the inning by striking out one batter, seeing another fly out and another one grounded out.

“We made a couple of errors here and there where they should have been out of the inning without that run. But, we have to learn from it and make ourselves better as a team,” Duran said.

The error bug decided to hit the showers once Dexter left the field in the middle of the sixth inning as both teams kept each other in check for the rest of the contest.

Weems feels that Capitan’s lapses are taking a toll.

“We’re hurting our pitchers and mentally, we’re breaking ourselves down and we’ve got to fix it,” Weems said.

The Demons will take a break from league play Thursday hosting Tucumcari in a doubleheader. During today’s practice session, Duran said Dexter will keep it simple.

“We’ll go back to our basics and fundamentals and work on that. One of things that we’ve got to get back to is hitting the ball. So, we’ll probably focus more on that,” Duran said.

The Demons had two hits in Tuesday’s win and it was also the third time both sides have met this season.

The first time was March 16 during the Hal Bogle Tournament in Dexter. The Demons won the game 7-3. The two squads met a week later during the New Mexico Military Institute Colt Baseball Classic in Roswell. Dexter pounded Capitan 22-0. Both sides are set to face each other again April 24 during a twin bill in Capitan.

Forgive Duran if he uses the old saying, “familiarity breeds contempt,” when talking about the Tigers this season.

“You become familiar with the pitchers just the way we know their pitchers and it pretty much becomes an offensive game or producing runs off the errors,” Duran said.

Tuesday’s game also marked the end of the first half of district play. As part two starts next week for the undefeated Demons, Duran thinks Dexter will need to be ready for a fight.

“District has always been tough. We’ll travel to most of the teams for the doubleheaders. The only team we have here is Tularosa (April 21),” Duran said.

Weems feels that the Tigers shouldn’t be overlooked during the second half.

“This team is a lot better than we’ve shown on the field. Once we start playing like we can, we can compete with Dexter, Eunice and anybody else in the state,” Weems said.

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