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Rockets sweep Coyotes despite high winds

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For a time on Friday afternoon, the Roswell Coyotes (6-16, 3-5) had a 2-1 lead over the Goddard Rockets (17-3, 7-1) in game one of a doubleheader at Joe Bauman Stadium.

During the second inning, the Rockets came alive sending 12 hitters to the plate and scoring seven runs en route to a 12-2 win. The game ended after the fifth inning due to the 10 run mercy rule.

Goddard head coach Gilbert Alvarado admitted that the Rockets were able to get in sync with Coyote starting pitcher Alex Lomeli (2-2) after scoring one run and sending five hitters to the plate in the first inning.

“We started to get some really good swings with the baseball,” said Alvarado. “Lots of good doubles, a couple of triples and it just seemed like they had to get used to what they were seeing and once they get on time with it, they’re pretty good.”

Coyote head coach Carlos Marrujo III said Lomeli was able to pick up a win last week. However, playing the No. 1 team in the state and the wind didn’t help the sophomore starter.

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“He threw a lot of pitches early and he got in the hole quite a bit and left some balls up there and they put some good wood on it,” said Marrujo. “You can’t do that to the No. 1 team in the state.”

Lomeli was lifted in the third inning for Fermin Portillo. He gave up four runs on three hits.

The Rockets finished the game with 12 hits and Alvarado feels that there is a certain science when it comes to hitting.

“Anybody can get a base hit when nobody is on,” said Alvarado. “We try to preach things like plus one and we try to advance them to another base. So long as those boys have an approach, we feel like that will really work out for us.”

Alvarado did see a downside to Goddard’s hitting approach in the later innings.

“What I don’t like though is we left the bases loaded in the fifth,” said Alvarado. “We left two guys (on base) in the fourth. So we should’ve had more runs than we did. If you’re looking for things to (get) better on, we probably should’ve scored 16 or 17 more runs. We just can’t keep the bases loaded like that.”

Both coaches said the wind was a major factor in the first game. The National Weather Service reported a peak wind gust of 47 mph in Roswell at 4:51 p.m. nearly 21 minutes after the first pitch was thrown.

“The wind kicked our butt a little bit,” said Marrujo. “I hate to use that as an excuse. The wind was blowing pretty good making the ball move a little bit. It was causing a little craziness out there with our outfielders with all the pop flies.”

Alvarado added that some of the Rockets also had to deal with another part of Mother Nature.

“The sun was a factor for the infielders on the right side,” said Alvarado. “There were a few balls that carried that shouldn’t have carried and there were a few balls that actually got knocked down by the wind that didn’t carry far. They had a couple of balls drop in because of the wind and we had a couple that dropped because of the wind. It was a factor in us scoring some runs.”

Alvarado also praised the Rocket pitching. Matt Shanor (4-0) started and gave up the lone run on four hits. He also struck out four. Goddard’s head coach said the senior struggled the first time facing the Coyotes.

“Today, he was filling it up and throwing lots of strikes and competing,” Alvarado said.

Drew Price and Ty Villareal made relief appearances for Goddard, striking out three and one respectively.

Game two was a repeat of the opening game as it was called after five innings with Goddard winning 13-1. The Rockets had 17 hits and the Coyotes had three hits and committed one error.

The Rockets return to action Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. hosting Artesia in a doubleheader. The Bulldogs swept Lovington Friday 22-0 and 13-2.

The Coyotes travel to Lovington Tuesday for a 4:30 p.m. doubleheader as well.