Home Sports Local Sports Roswell baseball team gets their first district win

Roswell baseball team gets their first district win

Roswell’s Tarren Burrola throws to first base for an easy put-out during Game 2 of Saturday’s doubleheader at Aztec. In this file photo. (Matt Hollinshead/Farmington Daily Times Photo)

Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

The calendar and sport said baseball, but the weather and wind made game conditions feel like football weather. Nonetheless, in a game the young Roswell Coyotes had to have to keep their playoffs hopes alive, they did so in some uncharacteristic ways.

They overcame errors and came from behind with the help of an excellent defense and received great pitching and hitting from senior ace Carlitos Montoya. Montoya kept the Lovington Wildcats hitters off balance most of the game as the Coyotes defeated the Wildcats, 2-1 Friday at Joe Bauman Stadium.

In the first inning, Montoya started the game with confidence getting the first Lovington batter he faced, J.J. Gutierrez, to fly out to left field. The next batter struck out looking. The next batter for the Wildcats was Omar Garcia.

“If we didn’t have the error in the first inning,” Montoya said, “they would not have scored in the game. We would have won 2-0.”

Garcia was able to get on base because of a defensive miscue. Lovington’s Lucas Arreola hit a single to centerfield, scoring Garcia from first base to give Lovington a 1-0 lead. Unfazed, Montoya retired the next batter to get out of the first inning.

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“Carlitos (Montoya) gives us a chance to win every time,” Marrujo III said. “Even when he is not on his game, he keeps it low enough to where we can do something with it.”

In the second inning, one of the Coyotes hottest hitters, designated hitter Xavier Lomeli, laced a hard single to right field. Montoya was able to reach base on a Wildcat fielding error.

With runners on first and third base, Coyote freshman Gunnar Byrd received a fastball down the middle of the plate and hit it to left field to score Lomeli from second base to tie the game at 1-1.

“I had a guy on first and third,” Byrd said. “I was looking for my pitch (fastball) right down the middle of the plate and I swung and hit it.”

After the scoring stopped, both pitchers were locked into a scoreless pitcher’s duel until the sixth inning. The difference was that Montoya was able to pitch out of his jam. Montoya gave up a single to Lovington’s Gutierrez, who singled over the second baseman’s head.

Montoya struck out Lovington’s Andrew Baiza. Garcia came up and singled up the middle; he stole second base on a questionable call, as Gutierrez was on third base. The throw looked to have the runner nailed as the throw was on the first base side of the base with Coyote shortstop Rhett Stokes made a sweeping tag. The runner didn’t slide and was called safe. The call brought out coach Marrujo to discuss the call.

Areola popped up to right field. With two outs, the defensive play of the game was made by Derek Natividad. Natividad made a diving catch in right field as the ball was sinking into the ground, running in at a 90-degree angle sliding from right field toward center field and catches the ball with the tip of his glove to save the Coyotes from being two runs down and get them out of the inning.

“I knew I’d get out of the jam,” Montoya said. “I was feeling it tonight. I felt good tonight. We came out today knowing we could win. Nothing against Goddard, but I think we are in the game at 6-2 until they have that big seven-run inning. Once that happened, we’re done.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Coyotes’ pitcher Montoya helped his cause by getting the inning started with a base hit in shallow left field that fell between the shortstop and the third baseman. Montoya had two hits in the game and reached base three times in this game. Montoya went to second base on a wild pitch.

Byrd took the Lovington pitcher to a full-count and hit the ball to shortstop. The Wildcats shortstop bobbled the ball, allowing Byrd to hustle all the way to beat the throw to give the Coyotes runners on first and second. The next batter was Tarren Burrola as he successfully put a bunt down that was fielded by the Wildcats’ pitcher Fabian Cabello. Cabello overthrew third baseman, Isiah Valdez, as Montoya scored the winning run, to give the Coyotes a 2-1 victory.

Montoya threw 90 pitches, had nine strikeouts and pitched 6 2/3 innings. Montoya took him out after his 90th pitch hoping to be able to use him for Artesia on Tuesday.

Lovington played without two of their best players — one of the players broke team rules and the other went to a choir concert.

“That first inning almost did us in,” Marrujo III said. “They are starting to figure it out. We knew we had to get a sweep to have a chance to get into the playoffs. I think the magic number for us is going to be nine. We have to take two away from Artesia or Goddard and that will help out tremendously.”

Game 2

Roswell 8, Lovington 5

Big pitches, big hits, and a big heart are what the Coyotes needed after falling behind 5-2 in the third inning. The Coyote started Xavier Lomeli on the mound, Lomeli battle and stayed in the game until he could get his offense going. Lomeli had a couple of hits as his team fought back to sweep Lovington in the nightcap of a twin bill, 8-5.

Freshman spark plug Xavier Garcia started it off in the fourth inning when he led the inning off and hit a blooper that landed right in front of the Wildcats’ centerfielder Lucas Arreola. At the crack of the bat, Garcia never looked up and kept running a startled Arreola hurried his throw as Garcia slide safely into second base. His hit ignited a five-run rally as the Coyotes took the lead and never relinquished it.

Roswell (5-13, 2-2) faces Artesia at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at Joe Bauman Stadium.

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