CLOVIS – Four innings into their Little League Intermediate State tournament game, July 7, things were actually going pretty well for Ruidoso.
True, they were down 5-0 to Roosevelt County in the first round, but it was still a competitive game.
Or at least it was competitive until the top of the fifth inning.
That’s when the wheels came off for Ruidoso, as R.C. scored 16 runs in the frame to deal out a 21-0 walloping.
Ruidoso coach Cade Hall was at a loss for words.
“It’s hard to say anything but . . .,” Hall said before making sounds of pure frustration.
Ruidoso just couldn’t get an out in the fifth, as the easiest ground balls or pop flies were misplayed, and Roosevelt County made them pay dearly.
“They quit, and I don’t know why,” Hall said of his team’s performance in that disastrous inning. “The pitching was there, but the defense wasn’t helping them. They got a few errors, they got down on themselves and never would come out of it.”
Of course, it wasn’t all errors that killed Ruidoso. Roosevelt County got in some pretty good base knocks, too.
That included a double and home run by Hagen Rains, as Roosevelt County batted around twice in the inning.
As for Ruidoso’s bats, they were hitting the ball, but Roosevelt County was making the defensive plays.
One of Ruidoso’s best chances at scoring came in the bottom of the fourth, when Dryver Durham led off the inning with a double, but then was picked off.
In the first inning, Logan Good singled and eventually got to third, but was stranded after the next two batters struck out.
To say it was a bad night for Ruidoso was an understatement.
Now, Ruidoso has to get up bright and early for a 9 a.m. game against West Mesa, which was 10-run ruled by East Mountain in the first game on Friday.
A win in that game would put Ruidoso up against the loser between East Mountain and Roosevelt County, but not until 8 p.m. Saturday. A loss in either one of those games would send Ruidoso home.
“I haven’t seen anyone here at this tournament we couldn’t handle, if we just played,” Hall said. “We were right there with Roosevelt County, but they just gave up, and I don’t know why.”