By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer

HOUSTON — It’s getting to be a broken record. In almost every game, the Vaqueros have beaten themselves, and Sunday, they did it again. But while the now 2-5 Sea Lions did take advantage of Las Cruces mistakes, strong pitching and a big sixth inning helped them earn the 8-1 victory.

“There really isn’t nothing more I can say,” said Vaqueros manager Casey Dill. “It’s the same story every day. Even if you take away the bottom of the sixth inning, we left, I believe four runners in scoring position with no outs. We struck out six times. And then both runs going into the bottom of the sixth were both unearned, so we have a 2-1 ballgame with two unearned runs. We ended up not scoring more than two runs anyway, so it’s essentially, yeah. Same story, different ball game. We have an identity now. We’re the team that beats themselves. The only time we win is when the other team plays worse than we do.”

Las Cruces started out by leaving runners at second and third in the top of the first after a leadoff double by Adam Ziegler off Galveston starter Josh Cruse. The game stayed scoreless through 3-1/2, with the only other hit coming from Vaquero pitcher Austin Carden in the top of the fourth.

THe Lions opened the bottom of the stanza with a double by Phillip Roscoe deep into left center, then, with one out, Rob Dimperio reached on an error that sent Roscoe to third and Edgar reached second on what would have been a sacrifice bunt but was bobbled by the Vaquero first baseman. That brought in both Roscoe and Imperio, and while Carden struck out the next two batters, the Lions led 2-0 on unearned runs.

Neither side scored in the fifth — a textbook double play got Lions relieverJames Coon out of the inning, while Carden was saved when a runner was caught trying to steal. Las Cruces closed the gap to 2-1 in the top of the sixth with a towering home run by Travis Fuquay, but then came the big Galveston sixth.

The Lions sent 11 men to the plate, getting three singles (by Roscoe, Bryce Miller and Dimperio); three doubles (by Florio, Cruse and Miller, and two walks off reliever Brandon Brown.

“My guys are playing hard and focused,” said Sea Lions manager J.D. Droddy. “I’m really proud of them. They’re doing a great job.”

Roscoe was 3-for-4, with one run and 1 RBI. Miller was 2-for-4 with one run and RBI.

“Man, our hitters were doing really well,” Droddy said. “Their pitcher, Carden, is an excellent pitcher, and we hung right there in with him. And when they brought the other pitcher in, we just teed off.”

The Galveston pitchers combined to three-hit the Vaqueros.

“(Cook) was a guest pitcher, but I think he’s going to be in the draft,” Droddy said. “He looked really good. Josh is getting better every game, and he was throwing bullets today.”

The Lions will see if they can stretch their “mini winning streak” to three when they face the Giant-killing Gears Tuesday at 1 p.m., while the Vaqueros will try to get back on track vs. Houston at 7 p.m.