TULAROSA – It was a long and hot day for both the Ruidoso and Mescalero Minor All-Stars during the second day of the District 2 tournament on July 1, with Mescalero earning the victory in a 26-24 slugfest over Valley, while the Ruidoso team lost big to Artesia.
As a result, the teams played each other on July 2 in the double-elimination bracket, with Ruidoso coming out on top, 14-4.
While the final score on Sunday was big in Ruidoso’s favor, the game was tied at 2-all through three innings before Ruidoso opened things up in the fourth.
It was similar to what Artesia did to Ruidoso in the first round, a 26-8 shellacking.
After spotting Artesia an 11-0 lead, Ruidoso scored six in the bottom of the second to at least stay close, highlighted by a bases loaded double from Omar Guerrero, who later stole home.
But that was before Artesia put up 13 runs in the fourth inning to put the game completely out of reach.
“We just need to work harder on pitching. That’s all it comes down to,” said Ruidoso coach Jaime Urban. “A couple of errors hurt us, some missed balls and bad plays hurt us too.”
The Ruidoso-Artesia start was delayed by almost two hours because of the Mescalero-Valley game.
This was a game that saw neither team take full control, although Mescalero was at least able to put up runs in every inning.
Conversely, Valley was shut out in the second and fourth innings, including a 3-up, 3-down second frame.
That was the real difference in the game, as Valley was making a comeback near the end with five runs in the bottom of the sixth.
However, that comeback came to an end on an attempted steal by Enrique Sena for the third and final out.
“The kids were more ready today, although they did start getting hot near the end, so they started laying up,” said Mescalero coach Calvin Hudgins, comparing this game to a 23-3 loss to Noon Optimist on June 30. “This was pretty balanced between these two teams.”
Following Sunday’s game, Ruidoso is the only local team left in this tournament, and will take on Alamogordo Rotary tonight at 5:30 p.m.