Home Sports Local Sports Artesia sweeps Roswell in district finale

Artesia sweeps Roswell in district finale

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ARTESIA — Artesia head baseball coach J.J. Ortiz has an interesting metaphor for District 4-5A baseball.

“The approach we took when we started district is a new season,” said Ortiz. “We’re approaching each game like it’s a boxing match and so what I told our players was ‘when boxers get ready they go round-by-round’ and that’s how we’re approaching the district season.”

Friday evening the Bulldogs (16-10, 9-3) swept the Roswell Coyotes (7-19, 4-8) 2-0 and 4-0 in the regular season finale.

“This is our 12th round of the district season,” Ortiz said. “We’ve been really talking about having a boxer’s mentality approaching the district and so when a boxer gets to the 12th round, they want to finish it. So that’s how we’ve been approaching it, our guys are really excited about finishing out the fight and in those terms that’s what we’ve been using.”

The Coyotes haven’t been a pushover for the Bulldogs this season as both sides split during their first meeting in Roswell earlier this month. Roswell High won the first game 5-0 and Artesia took game two 9-5.

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The Coyotes held their own against Artesia in Friday’s opening game at Brainard Park as Carlitos Montoya(2-4) went the distance in the loss.

Montoya and Artesia’s starting pitcher Miguel Martinez (2-1) kept each other in check until Artesia scored their first run in the bottom of the third.

J.R. Bustamante led off with a single and later stole second and went to third on a Jacob Orona bunt. Bustamante then scored on a Coyote throwing error.

Montoya was able to get out of the inning without Artesia landing any knockout blows.

Montoya and Martinez continued to stare each other down until the bottom of the sixth when Artesia delivered the TKO as Aaron Natera doubled and later scored on a Robert Fernandez IV single.

“I thought both sides played really well,” said Roswell head coach Carlos Marrujo III. “Defensively both sides played real good, Carlitos threw well. Their pitcher threw well, we just couldn’t come up and put swings together consecutively to score some runs.”

Montoya gave up seven hits in the loss.

“He did well,” Marrujo said. “He does what he always does and goes out and throws a lot of strikes. We just can’t put it together when he pitches and he’s been like that all year. We just can’t scratch runs together everytime he pitches, but we pitch him whenever we are playing good teams and that’s something we have to put in consideration as well.”

Marrujo feels that the Coyotes have had a different mindset when facing Artesia this season.

“It’s just a whole different ballgame whenever we play them,” Marrujo said. “We’ve just got to learn to put it together for seven innings and learn how to scratch some runs together and we’ll be fine.”

During the second game, Artesia’s Natera (3-1) and Roswell’s Drew Graham (1-4) had a close duel until the bottom of the third when Artesia scored four runs.

Natera tossed a one hitter and Graham gave up nine hits.

“Roswell is a very good team,” Ortiz said. “Roswell has been getting better and better ever since the early part of the season when we saw them at our tournament (in March). They have improved.”