Walks, errors, bring Ruidoso down

By Todd Fuqua

Photo by Eric Murray/Eastern New Mexico News Ruidoso pitcher Grady Woodul fires a first-inning offering in Saturday's District 4-4A doubleheader opener at Ram Field. Woodul loaded the bases with no outs, but escaped the jam after allowing two runs and allowed four runs over four innings of work.

Early scoring made the difference in Ruidoso’s first three District 4-4A games against Portales over the weekend, as the Warriors lost all three, 10-0, 10-0 and 14-1.

Photo by Eric Murray/Eastern New Mexico News
Ruidoso catcher Jerod Candelaria tags out Portales baserunner Chandon Neece on a fifth-inning double steal attempt in Saturday’s District 4-4A doubleheader opener at Ram Field.

“Frustrating effort on our part. We didn’t play behind our pitchers, can’t defend walks,” said Ruidoso coach Billy Page. “As a coach, it’s hard to tell them what to do when we keep booting the ball or keep putting people on bases without an attempt. We had an opportunity early, but when we don’t do things behind our pitchers it makes it real tough.

“I don’t know how many runs (Portales) scored with two outs. You get two outs and can’t finish an inning. The last inning, I think we had three guys at 0-2 and walked two of them, and hit one of them.”

While walks and errors were the ultimate downfall of the Warriors (0-10, 0-3 district), Page was quick to point out the pitching performances – particularly that of Grady Woodul to start the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

“Grady was hurt but still pitched,” Page said. “He twisted his ankle at dinner one night, but still almost pitched a complete game.”

Portales (7-6, 3-0) had plenty of hits, racking up 23 base knocks in the three games. Ruidoso’s only run of the weekend came in the third inning of game two on Saturday.

Ruidoso takes on Hot Springs in a home doubleheader, April 3, then gets back to district play with three games against Moriarty.

Page thinks his team has the opportunity to go on a win streak.

“They just have to trust the system, and I think we can still win the next five games,” Page said. “We just have to regroup and trust in each other. I still think we’ll be OK.”

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