Heading into their three-game series against No. 1-ranked Hope Christian, the Ruidoso baseball team was hoping to win at least one game in Albuquerque.
They got that, but they also got tantalizingly close to winning two out of three.
After dropping the first game 13-3, the Warriors were leading Hope 8-7 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs when an error undid everything.
“It’s just one of those things that happens,” said Ruidoso coach Gilbert Alvarado. “Hope then had two people on base, and the next kid ropes a double to left center on a 3-2 count. Two runs score and we lose with a walkoff hit with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.”
So, Ruidoso lost game 2, 9-8, but then rallied in the final contest to earn a 25-19 victory.
So, it was a pretty good weekend for the Warriors (10-10-1, 4-4-1 District 4-4A). Even with the loss in game two, the fact that Ruidoso had the Huskies on the ropes should do well when the State playoffs are seeded in two weeks.
“I hope people will look at those kinds of things and see where we’re at,” Alvarado said. “I spoke with the Hope coach (Glen Copeland) and Charlie Ward from NMMI, and we agreed there’s really no reason why our district shouldn’t be ranked 1-4 in the state.”
In fact, Hope (14-6, 4-2), NMMI and Portales are all ranked 1-3 in the state, with Ruidoso at No. 7 and Moriarty coming in at No. 10, according to MaxPreps.com.
Moriarty is Ruidoso’s next opponent. The Warriors play at the Pintos April 28-29.
While Moriarty may be only 1-5 in district, they do have a win over NMMI and will take on Hope Christian at home a week before they face Ruidoso.
“We’re beating up on each other, but we’re all some really solid teams. The Hope coaches were commenting on how we’re hard to get through, 1-9,” Alvarado said. “I hope we can stay in the top eight. We really need a home series.”
If the Warriors can stay in the top eight in the state, they’d be guaranteed a home best-of-three series in the first round of the State playoffs. Those start April 5.
“The boys now know, if we run into Hope Christian in the State tournament, they know we have a shot to win,” Alvarado said. “I liked the boys’ mindset after the series, I liked their competitiveness throughout it. They aren’t quitters and they sure can come back.”