RUIDOSO – Almost all things were equal between the Ruidoso and New Mexico Military Institute Colts after their game, April 7.
By the time the teams had played two on Saturday, things were literally equal.
After the Warriors dropped a 12-8 decision – the game ending on a pop-up with the tying run at the plate for Ruidoso – they were able to get a victory back, 16-4 in game one of the Saturday doubleheader.
The rubber match ended in a 20-all tie as the sun set behind Sierra Blanca.
According to the NMAA, the game stays as a tie, with Ruidoso having the edge in total runs scored should the teams remain tied in the district standings.
Both squads are now 3-2-1 in District 4-4A play.
“We pitched well enough to win, we hit well enough to win, we just have to shore up that defense,” said Ruidoso coach Gilbert Alvarado of the first game. “I think the boys tried to do too much.”
In game one, things were more even than the final score indicated. Both teams ended up with 11 hits and four errors, although NMMI (13-3-1 overall) committed all their errors in the final inning as the Warriors (9-8-1) staged a comeback.
“We took advantage of their mistakes, and did hit the ball hard,” said NMMI coach Charlie Ward. “But they came back. Coach Alvarado has a team that will fight to the end. We made some mistakes near the end and I’m not happy right now.”
NMMI started things off with a single run in the top of the first on an RBI single by Michel Hinojos, but the Warriors were able to retaliate in the bottom of the inning with a run of their own, thanks to a single by Chris Shalley.
“This was a game where we had really good at bats, one through nine,” Alvarado said. “We left a few people on here and there, there was a baserunning mistake that hurt us, but we allowed something like six unearned runs.”
NMMI was able to score four more runs in the next two innings, however, and the Colts never trailed after that.
They really seemed to put the game out of reach when starting pitcher Gavin Maloney took the first pitch he saw in the fourth inning and put it in the parking lot beyond the right field fence for a solo home run.
Alex Bates eventually left the mound for Ruidoso, but the Colts kept piling on the runs against Grady Woodul and Brooks Jarrell, eventually putting up a 12-5 lead heading into the final inning.
Saul Marmalejo came on in the seventh and shut down NMMI’s hitters, including an odd 6-3-5 double play to wipe out a double by Hinojos.
Then came the bottom of the inning, when Ruidoso started getting the best of Jake Guerrero, who had come on to pitch for the Colts in the sixth inning.
Mason Taylor and Grady Woodul both walked, with Taylor scoring on a wild pitch.
Woodul later scored on a bases loaded walk to Bates, while Ingle came across on a sacrifice fly by Kyler Woodul.
Shalley later singled and the bases were loaded before Brooks Jarrell popped out to first base to end the game.
“Good teams really make you pay for errors,” Alvarado said. “There are some errors that don’t hurt you, but every error we made cost us one or two runs every time.”