TULAROSA – Four times, Ruidoso’s Little League Minor team tried to score at the plate.
Four times, their runners were thrown out.
That included the last out of the game, July 3, as Ruidoso fell to Alamogordo Rotary, 13-9, and bowed out of the District 2 tournament.
“Everybody was hitting the ball and making plays, it just came down to little things,” said Ruidoso coach Jamie Urban.
Those four outs – two of which ended the inning – were big. Had those runs scored, this would have been a tie game at least.
Of course, if Rotary hadn’t scored seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, this would have been a win for Ruidoso.
While the loss was frustrating, Urban couldn’t say his team beat itself.
“Both teams played very well. There were minimal errors,” Urban said. “Everybody hit, everybody threw, this was just two teams playing two good games.”
Ruidoso actually drew first blood, scoring in the top of the first inning when Jonas Barnett tripled to lead off, then scored on a ground out by Andres Marmalejo.
Omar Guerrero was later thrown out at home – that nemesis of a play for Ruidoso – and Rotary was able to take a 3-1 lead with one run in each of the first three innings.
That wasn’t such a bad thing – Jonas Barnett allowed those three runs through four innings, and Ruidoso was able to take a one run lead after pushing three runs across in the top of the fourth.
Those runs came thanks to a walk to Emilio Marmalejo, followed in short order by singles from Omari Clemins and Barnett.
But it was a short-lived lead. Alamogordo really opened things up in the bottom of the inning with seven runs which pretty much put the game out of reach.
That included an inside-the-park home run by Gabon Flores.
“We’ll be back, this is a great group and hopefully they can stay together,” Urban said. “Maybe we can make them a travel team and hit a couple of tournaments to get them ready for next year.”