CAPITAN – Brendan Usery’s first hit for Capitan – the second hit of the game – was indicative of the kind of day everyone was in for.
Usery popped up to second base, but the high winds caught hold of it and it fell untouched just beyond the infield for a single.
By the time Garrison Weems had tripled, the Tigers had scored five runs and batted around.
In the end, it was a 22-4 victory over Tularosa, April 17, at Alpine Field.
Tularosa ended up forfeiting the second game because the Wildcats just didn’t have enough pitching.
“Near the end of the third inning there, we were still hitting, but stopping guys on the bags,” said Capitan coach James Weems. “It’s hard to stay up and competitive when you’re playing a game like that.”
By the end of the game, Capitan (9-6, 6-2 District 4-3A) had mostly junior varsity players on the field, a chance for the younger players to get some valuable playing time.
“The kids did a good job and had some quality at bats,” Weems said. “Some of the younger kids weren’t used to staying that focused, but the situation was a little different than what we expected.
“We have a JV program, but there’s just not enough games for them,” he added. “There’s a lot of things you have to work around. It’s good to get the win, but you don’t want to win by forfeit.”
Through three innings, the Tigers scored 21 runs on just 11 hits, as Tularosa (0-18, 0-8) committed five errors in that same time.
But the hits Capitan was getting were formidable. Jacob Smith joined Weems with a triple, while Usery and Price Bowen each had doubles by taking advantage of the wind and gaps in the Wildcat outfield.
Bowen also got the win, pitching one-hit, scoreless ball through three innings before being relieved by Caleb Hightower and Weems in the next two innings.
Tularosa finally got on the board against Weems, scoring all four of its runs in the fifth inning, but the game’s outcome was academic by that point.
The regular season winds down fast for the Tigers, as they have just two more dates left on the schedule, against district-leading Dexter on April 24 and at Eunice on April 28. The teams are the only ones to beat the Tigers in district so far this season.