NMMI’s Rudy Solis turns a double play during a game against Colby Community College on Sunday afternoon at NMMI Ballpark. Photo by Peter Dindinger.
Peter Dindinger – NMMI Sports Press
On a blustery Sunday afternoon, the New Mexico Military Institute Bronco baseball team won their first series at home, three games to four over the Colby Community College Trojans at NMMI Ballpark.
In Game 3, Colby pitcher Ethan Francis threw six solid innings allowing just five hits while striking out five batters.
The Trojans took a 3-0 lead and never looked back as they took victory, 5-3.
After seven straight scoreless innings into Game 4, NMMI’s bats came alive in the final two frames. In the ninth, Rudy Solis drew an RBI walk while Julian Galindo tied up the game 4-4 with a two-RBI single.
Edwin Martinez Pagani then hit a frozen rope past the first baseman to win the game for his team 5-4 with a walk-off RBI-single.
“We pitched it well both games and we made a few mistakes defensively,” said NMMI head coach Chris Cook. “We put together good at-bats that inning to get on base.
“We end up feeling a lot better about this weekend. All in all, we’ll take the series win. That’s gonna be a good club as they continue to play games.”
Down 3-0 to start Game 3, NMMI (11-5) cut the deficit to one run after a two-RBI single by Gavin Martin in the bottom of the fourth.
Unfortunately, NMMI got into a bases-loaded jam that resulted in an RBI walk to Nick Hosie to extend the Trojans lead to 4-2.
A costly error in the sixth allowed Colby Community College to plate home another run. The Broncos pushed across one more run in the bottom of the sixth after a sacrifice fly by Martinez that brought in Galindo.
Martinez finished Game 3 going 2 for 2 with two singles and an RBI while Martin went 1 for 3 with a single and two RBIs.
Jorge Garcia was dealt the loss after allowing four earned runs on seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.
NMMI had to play catchup in Game 4 after it trailed 4-0 in the top of the eighth. The Trojans scored three runs in the inning on a wild pitch and two hits.
The Broncos finally erased the shutout in the bottom half of the frame as Martin hit a sacrifice fly to center to drive in Galindo.
With one last chance in the home half of the ninth, NMMI was presented with a golden opportunity to make something happen.
NMMI had runners at first and second with one out as Cameron Stevenson singled to load the bases. After a bases-loaded walk to Solis and Galindo’s game-tying hit, Martin was intentionally walked to load the bases.
On the third pitch of the at-bat, Martinez delivered the game-winner as his teammates mobbed him in centerfielder during a postgame celebration.
The Broncos scattered 13 hits. Solis finished 3 for 4 with three singles, a walk and an RBI and Jayden Diaz went 2 for 3 with two singles.
Martinez ended up going 2 for 3 with two singles and an RBI.
NMMI starter Ty Villareal allowed five hits and one earned run in a no decision bid. Grant Howe picked up the win after striking out two batters in 1 1/3 innings.
The Bronco bullpen struck out five batters and allowed five hits.
NMMI has another big test ahead next weekend as it takes on Cisco College for a doubleheader on Saturday. First game begins at 12 p.m. CST.
After that on Sunday, the Broncos are headed to Ranger College for a two-game set before jumping into conference play March 6.
“It felt good. I was just trying to get up there, get my pitch … inside fastball, and I got it,” Martinez said. “It felt good taking the series. We’re doing really great right now and hopefully we can keep it up.
“Overall, we’re gonna have the same mentality. We’ve been working hard the whole week and it’s always going to be the same mentality – win the first game, win inning by inning, win every pitch and that’s how we’re going to get it done.”