NMMI Sports Press
The Bronco baseball team finished off their four-game Western Junior College Athletic Conference series versus Odessa with a doubleheader split on Sunday, taking Game 1 by a
score of 6-4 before dropping the nightcap, 22-13.
In Gamne 1, the Broncos got on the board early thanks to a monster homerun over the scoreboard in right field by Angel Colon, giving NMMI a 1-0 lead heading into the top of the second.
Colon continued his offensive outburst by doubling to right center in the third inning.
With Colon on second and Bobby Galindo reaching on a walk, Luis Rivera Melendez came to the plate and singled on a hard line drive to center field, scoring Colon and advancing Galindo to third. Cedric Reynaud then singled on a hard hit ball to shortstop, scoring Galindo. With three complete, NMMI was up 3-0.
After a somewhat uneventful top of the fourth, where the Institute survived a fielding error but still managed to hold Odessa scoreless, Jason Herrera kept the Bronco offense going with a lead-off single up the middle.
Next at the plate was Palo Rodriguez and he singled as well, this time to left field.
Galindo then doubled to right center scoring both and giving the Broncos a 5-0 lead going into the top of the fifth.
Neither team was able to score in the fifth inning and despite a late offensive surge of four runs in the top of the sixth, from the Wranglers, NMMI added insurance run in their half of the inning to make it 6-4.
Zach Gonzales came in for relief out of the bullpen, recorded the last four outs and picked up his fourth save on the season.
Gerry Lerma was NMMI’s starting pitcher. He picked up the win to bring his overall record to 4-2 on the season. He lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowed six hits and four runs while striking out five and walking one.
Sunday’s Game 2 was a slugfest, with 35 runs scored between the two WJCAC opponents over the course of just eight innings.
Odessa started the offensive onslaught with a pair of runs in the top of the first. NMMI cut that lead in half with a single score in their part of the stanza, but gave up a five-spot to the Wranglers in the top of the second.
The Broncs came back with four in the bottom half, but continued to trail after allowing 16 Odessa runs over the next six innings, while plating eight over the same span.
Miguel Soto was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate for NMMI, with a homerun, 4 RBIs and 2 runs and Luis Rivera went 3-for-5 with a run and two RBIs.
Six pitchers spent time on the mound for NMMI, with starter Matthew Marquez getting tagged for the loss after 1.1 innings of work.
“We had a chance to win the series,” said NMMI head coach Chris Cook. “We scored 13 runs [in Sunday’s Game 2] and still got run-ruled. That’s a tough pill to swallow. But the reality is that through seven innings we allowed 13 walks or hit-by-pitches. Against a good hitting team, you put that many extra base runners on, it’s going to be tough to score enough runs.”
With the Sunday split, NMMI moves to 18-14 overall and remains even in conference with a 6-6 record.
They’ll next face WJCAC opponent Luna Community College in a four-game, two-day series held at Albuquerque’s Regional Sports Complex on March 30th and 31st. Start times for both days’ doubleheaders are scheduled for 12 pm.