The magic number of wins for Roswell Coyotes’ baseball season to be considered a success is one. One win and a berth in the playoffs. Getting the one win is going to be harder than anyone can imagine. What the one victory means is Roswell baseball has had their best baseball season in a decade.
Roswell’s first-year coach Tyrell Curtis has to be the sickest guy in a Coyotes’ uniform. Curtis received a gem of a pitching effort from sophomore Taymon Burrola. He turned in his finest pitching performance of the year. He threw a four-hitter, struck out five batters and picked off two base runners off first base in a 4-1 loss to Hobbs at Joe Bauman Stadium Thursday night.
“He has been able to do that,” RHS coach Curtis said. “He gave us a chance to win that game. There are things we have to go back and do. I thought we hit the ball well that game and he (Burrola) pitched his tail off for us. We got to be able to string hits together. Hobbs is a really good baseball team.”
Coming into the game, Roswell was trying to avenge an 11-1 loss to Hobbs on Tuesday. Burrola started the game on fire with three up and three down. It was in the second inning when Hobbs’ Brevin McCool doubled with two outs and moved to third base on a wild pitch — he would score when teammate Roe Forrest hit the ball over first base for a base hit scoring McCool as Hobbs took a 1-0 lead.
Hobbs scored a run in the third inning, but Roswell came back when the speedy Rhett Stokes hit a ball to the edge of the grass at shortstop and beat out the throw. Stokes stole second base on the second pitch and would end up scoring when Raul Guzman singled to left field as the Coyotes trailed 2-1.
“I think the loss in the first game,” Curtis stated, “is going to come back and cost us. Our team never quit, our team kept swinging the bats.”
In the fifth inning, Hobbs scored two runs on errors to give them a 4-1 lead, which they would never relinquish. Roswell was lead in hits by Stokes with two, Raul Guzman, Xavier Lomeli, Brady Villegas, and AJ Palomino and Burrola each had one hit.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Hobbs jumped all over the Coyotes from the first inning, when they scored two runs. Hobbs would manage to score a run in every inning as they won, 13-5.
The star in the second game was Guzman as he went 2-for-3, along with Noah Byrd. Byrd made his first appearance of the season on the mound as he struck out two Eagles hitters. At the plate, he laced a base hit up the middle.
“First varsity game this season” Curtis said of Byrd’s first action of the season. “It was good, his performance, he went out and competed and that’s all we can ask.”
Roswell made one last charge in the second game, trailing 7-1 when Stokes singled past shortstop and moved to second when Guzman walked. Designated hitter Xavier Lomeli was hit by a pitch loading the bases, sending up Hunter Meyers-Palma.
Palma hit a gapper to left-center field clearing the bases as three runs scored. Palma was thrown out at third base trying to stretch a double into a triple, which ended the inning. Curtis would use four pitchers. Fielding errors and errors on the base paths would thwart any comeback by the Coyotes, as they could not mount any more challenges.
“I told our team,” Curtis said, “that’s not the way I expect them to play or they expect to play. We’re going to win some and we’re going to lose some, but we have to give ourselves a better chance. We never quit.”
The Eagles would score runs in every inning of the second game. Roswell was led by the hot hitting Guzman in the second game with two singles. Lomeli and Palma each doubles, and Xavier Gonzales, Byrd and Stokes each had singles.
“If we hit like we did these three games,” Curtis said, “and we pitch it and pick up our defense. I think we still have a chance to go in there and take a game or two.”
Roswell (12-8, 0-3, 5A) is off until Thursday when they travel to Carlsbad for a 5 p.m. game.