Westerners put an end to NMMI’s postseason hopes with 75-65 victory in play-in game
NMMI Sports Press
The New Mexico Military Institute Colt baseball team advanced to the semifinals of the NMAA Class 3A State Championship tournament, downing the second-seeded East Mountain Timberwolves, 14-5, at the Cleveland High School ballpark on Thursday.
NMMI plated four runs in the top of the first, with senior Alejandro Lopez collecting three of his five RBIs on the day with a bases-loaded double. Luke Taylor would later score Lopez with a sac fly to left field.
The T-Wolves countered with single spots in both the bottom of first and second, cutting NMMI’s early lead to two.
NMMI got back both of those runs in the third and fifth innings. In the third, senior Jasper Best blasted an opposite-field triple to right with one out, then was brought in by senior teammate Gunnar Schwab on a turf single that bounced high over the pitcher’s mound.
In the fifth, the Colts’ run came after a double-play left NMMI with runners on first and third with two outs. Pinch runner Carlos Retamoza attempted a successful steal of second, and Alejandro Barcenas crossed the plate on the ensuing throw-down.
East Mountain made it a one-run game, 6-5, mounting a three-run rally in the bottom half of the fifth.
But NMMI had a break-out inning in the top of the sixth, scoring eight runs, all with two outs. NMMI pounded out six hits in the stanza, including two by Luke Taylor.
Taylor then pitched the final two innings of the game, shutting out the Timberwolves and allowing just one hit.
Oscar Gomez got the start and the win for NMMI. He allowed two runs, both earned, over 3.1 innings of work with one strikeout.
Lopez was impressive at the plate for the Colts. Along with his game-leading five RBIs, he was a perfect 2-for-2 at the plate with a pair of walks and runs scored. Barcenas was 3-for-5 with an RBI and three runs scored; while Best and Taylor both went 2-for-3.
With the win, NMMI will advance to the semifinals on Friday at 12:00 PM to face the West Las Vegas Dons; the third-seeded Dons won their quarterfinal match-up against sixth-seeded Cobre, 2-1.