RUIDOSO – After an inaugural season that saw several good teams and several good games, Capitan’s Little League wrapped things up with a 50/70 championship that saw the Tigers earn a hard-fought 13-10 win over the Outlaws at Eagle Creek on June 13.
It was more than a title for the Tigers, it was a victory for all those that decided Capitan could support its own Little League chapter.
Although Rodney Griego – coach for the Outlaws and member of the Capitan Little League board – wasn’t ready to dismiss all that Ruidoso Little League has done through the years.
“We really need Ruidoso to survive. We’d love to interleague play with Ruidoso and Mescalero. Ruidoso Little League has always played a vital role in Capitan’s success,” Griego said. “Now that we have our own league, I hope we can sustain it and continue it. It gives people in Capitan a taste of what it takes to run a league.”
Tuesday’s game was marked by a lot of scoring, although it was the Outlaws that got far out ahead at first, scoring six runs in the first inning on just one hit, a two-RBI single by Aaden Gomez.
But then they were shut out in the next two frames and had to watch the Tigers slowly catch up. Diego Gallegos had a double in the second inning to score two runs and cap a four-run second inning, and the team tied things up in the top of the third when Hayden king scored on brother Aston’s double.
After that, it was a bunch of scoring and catching up on both sides.
The game stayed even all the way through the final inning. After the Outlaws scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth to take a 10-8 lead, the Tigers followed up with five in the top of the seventh, including a double by Anthony Rogers.
After that, Diego Gallegos – who came on the mound in the sixth – made short work of the Outlaws in the bottom of the final frame, striking out the side on just seven pitches.
“It was extremely competitive, and we struggled with pitching right off the bat,” said Tigers coach John Rogers. “But we responded when we needed to, and the Outlaws battled the whole way.”
All-Star play begins June 26, with Ruidoso’s Little League hosting the District 2 tournament at Eagle Creek.
Rogers thinks the 50/70 Capitan team has a real good shot at winning and moving on to the state level, and even beyond.
“It’s a great bunch of kids, and this is a small tournament. I think Capitan has as good of a shot as anybody,” Rogers said. “We’ve got 13 great kids that we’ve selected, and I’d put them up against anybody.”