Santa Fe High ends baseball loses in Wednesday's hit parade that resulted in 17-3 non-district rout over down-the-road St. Michael's
Now the regular season winds down for the Demons in District 2-6A, and for the first-place Horsemen in 2-4A
By ARNIE LESHIN
Now they part ways on the baseball diamond until next season, Santa Fe High and St. Michael's. The Demons get back to the tough 2-6A, the Horsemen to 2-4A where they stand in first place as the stretch run begins.
But Wednesday's non district game at Santa Fe High was all positive for the home team, pushing across 17 runs over the first two innings in what resulted in a 17-3 win over its Siringo Road neighbors.
This, after taking the lone ride to Clovis last Saturday and getting swept in the district doubleheader for its sixth straight setback in district.
In all, the Demons had dropped their last nine and falling to 9-12 overall.
But senior Jacob Romero was not about to let the losing skein continue. With the final result no doubt in question, he needed to pitch only 2 and 1/3 innings in a game called after five frames via the 10-run mercy-rule. At bat, he went 3-for-4, knocked in four runs, and scored twice.
This sparked an effort that brought 16 hits in all for Santa Fe High. In the second inning, it scored 12 times and almost batted around the lineup twice. Here, Romero's two-run single to left field with the bases loaded sent two runners across the plate and upped the lead to 9-1. The rest was just more ammunition unloaded on the visitors.
But the Horsemen (11-8) can now focus on their district. They are 4-1 as they approach the busiest time of their campaign. Over the next eight days, new head coach Augustin Ruiz will have to prepare his team for seven district tests that includes three doubleheaders.
Over an 18-day stretch, St. Michael's played only three times. Friday afternoon it plays host to Pojoaque Valley in a doubleheader slated for 3 and 5 p.m. starts.
"During this two-week period," Ruiz said, "we made sure we have guys in live bullpen sessions. Not really full-blown intra-squad games, but at least we were facing batters."
The best St. Michael's could do was score twice in the second helped by two errors from third baseman Dominic Crawford. And against reliever Jacob Martinez, a senior, it cut the gap to 17-3 on a two-run single by senior Jason Romero in the third inning.
But Jacob Romero had made 57 pitches after getting the first out in the third, and head coach Anthony Martinez sent him to shortstop and brought in Jacob Martinez in relief.
Despite taking long turns at bat, the Horsemen came away with only the single from Leyba, the two-run single from Romero, and a double from senior Josh Delgado.
Said Coach Martinez: "It was good to pound the ball and contain their batters. It feels good. It really feels good."
Now his Demons meet up Saturday with visiting Albuquerque Manzano in a doubleheader scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Coach Martinez spoke about probably meeting up with Monarch senior right-hander Mitchell Parker, how and exceptional the University of New Mexico-bound Parker is, but Manzano is still 7-13 overall and 1-5 in district, so these games are winnable and could get Santa Fe High out of last place in the six-school district.
After the DH versus the Elks (9-11-1,1-5-1) St. Michael's is home to West Las Vegas (11-6, 5-3-1) on Tuesday in a single contest, gets a visit from Taos (11-6, 3-3) in a 4 p.m.- 6 p.m. doubleheader on Thursday, and hosts Las Vegas Robertson (15-8, 4-3) in the regular-season final on Saturday, April 29, a DH scheduled for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. starts.
The Horsemen have split with WLV and have defeated Pojoaque, 6-5, Taos 3-2, and Robertson 6-1.
It's a lot of tests in a short time, but all St. Michael's has to do is hold on the top spot to claim the regular-season title, and all but Taos will be played at home.