Home Sports Local Sports Dexter and Santa Rosa meet in quarterfinals

Dexter and Santa Rosa meet in quarterfinals

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It’s been a few years since the Dexter Demons (15-5) and Santa Rosa Lions (18-8) faced each other in the state playoffs. Today at 4 p.m. in Rio Rancho the two squads meet in the 3A quarterfinals.

The year was 2014 and both teams met in the quarterfinals as well with the Demons winning 10-2. Dexter made it to the title game that year and were shutout by the Cobre Indians 6-0.

Heading into today’s game the Lions are the No. 3 seed and the Demons are the No. 6 seed.

Dexter had trouble last week in the opening round game against No. 11 Pecos.

“We struggled in the first couple of innings,” said Dexter head coach Arturo Duran. “We were off on every pitch their pitcher was throwing out in front. We weren’t being patient and in the bottom of the third we started seeing the ball better. We started making contact and we got five runs in that inning. In the bottom of the fourth we turned around and scored six.”

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Santa Rosa meanwhile had to fight back against the No. 14 Loving Falcons, winning 8-7. Lion head coach Adam Sanchez felt his team overlooked the opposition for a good portion of the game.

“They hit the ball good and their pitcher threw well,” Sanchez said. “By the seventh inning, we were down 7-3 and my first two batters went down swinging and just like that we had two outs. We kept calm and my boys kept their composure. With two outs to go and down four runs, my boys battled and scored four runs. The game went into extra innings and we came out on top.”

Both squads will have plenty of senior leadership on the field today. Erik Lopez can play pitcher and center field for the Lions. Santa Rosa also uses Derrick Chavez in right field. Scott Brown plays third base and pitches and Chris Correa can also pitch and play at shortstop.

“These kids have done a great job motivating their teammates,” Sanchez said.

The Demons meanwhile will be looking to Matt Otero, Izak Aguliar and Fernando Polanco. Aguilar has been playing catcher this season after Jarren Amaro went down with an injury.

“My main position is first base,” Aguliar said. “Throughout the season I felt I’d done pretty good to help my team and progress throughout the season.”

Aguilar feels the Demon seniors have some chemistry that the opponents shouldn’t take lightly.

“Over the last few years we’ve been together it’s the same group that’s been starting,” Augilar said. “The last three years we’ve really progressed together. We’ve gotten better throughout the seasons and have gotten closer.”

Duran is expecting a tenacious contest.

“It should be an exciting game and they’re a tough team,” Duran said. “They’ve got a good program down there for baseball. We just have to show up and play and give ourselves a chance.”

Sanchez thinks Dexter is up for the challenge.

“I wish we matched up with them somewhere during the regular season, but unfortunately we weren’t able too,” Sanchez said. “I know they hit the ball well and have some good pitching. Both teams are going to bring their best and compete. Should be a fun game.”

Aguilar feels the Demons bats will need to warm up early if Dexter wants to advance to the next round.

“So far we’ve been struggling every game we’ve played since district,” Aguilar said. “It takes us a couple of innings and then we do hit and get on the board and score runs.”

The winner will face either No. 10 Tucumcari or No. 2 Estancia Thursday at 7 p.m. at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho. The championship game is Friday at 12 p.m. at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.