Errors fell Tigers

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan's Caleb Hightower sets up for a bunt attempt, April 4, during his team's game against New Mexico Military Institute at Alpine Field.

CAPITAN – After the Capitan baseball team fell to New Mexico Military Institute, 14-1 in five innings on April 4, Weems was pretty much to the point about what went wrong.

“Errors,” Weems said. “This was an ugly game for us all around. Brendan (Usery) threw a great game, throwing strikes and getting contact. We were just making errors.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan’s Brendan Usery took the loss, April 4, against New Mexico Military Institute despite pitching a solid game.

It didn’t help, either, that Capitan couldn’t get many hits. The Tigers (4-5) ended up with five hits, but there were several more balls hit right on the screws that went right into NMMI gloves to stop potential rallies.

“We put the ball into play, and they out hit us 9-5,” Weems said. “That’s not a 14-1 outcome.”

Things didn’t start out too badly for Capitan. The Colts (12-2) had a 3-0 lead after two innings, but Capitan was able to load the bases in the bottom of the second with no outs and the top of the order coming up.

But a suicide squeeze play didn’t work quite like Weems had hoped, and the Tigers were able to push just one run across in the inning.

“That suicide is one of those things we have never not been able to accomplish,” Weems said. “If we make contact on that play, then we’re fine. But we still got one run out of that, even if it should have been two or three, minimum.”

Photo by Todd Fuqua Capitan shortstop John Rogers, right, takes the ball at second base to retire NMMI’s Connor Roe, April 4, at Capitan’s Alpine Field.

Had Capitan been able to score more in that inning, things might have been different the rest of the way, but only if the Tigers had been able to cut down on their errors.

Instead, there were several misplayed balls and bad bounces that allowed the Colts to build up a huge lead.

The biggest blow came in the fifth, when Michel Hinojos – celebrating his birthday – pounded the ball over the right field fence for a two run homer for the final scores of the game.

Hinojos also got the start and the win for NMMI in a game ended after five on the 10-run mercy rule.

“We haven’t had an ugly game like this yet,” Weems said. “Hopefully we got it out of our system.”

Now with nothing but District 3-3A games left on the schedule, Capitan must bear down and win, win, win if they want to get into the State tournament.

At least the Tigers are already 2-0 in district, having beaten Tularosa and Loving. But Eunice is next on the calendar, a 4:30 road game on April 7.

Eunice defeated Loving, Tuesday, 21-7.

Capitan and Eunice have faced each other already this season, in the second game of the Cardinal Classic in Eunice. The Tigers lost that one, 4-3.

“Eunice is good, they’ve got good pitching,” Weems said. “But we haven’t seen their best pitcher, and they haven’t seen ours. We might both see each others’ number ones, but with Eunice playing a district game today and the pitch count, it’s hard to say.”

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