Osos duplicate win vs. Santa Fe
Larry Rodriguez slides back into first before the ball makes it to Michael Lange. (Photo by Marty Mayfield)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
RATON — The Osos continued to improve Monday while the Fuego struggles continued. Playing in Gabriele Park in very cold and windy conditions, Raton topped Santa Fe 12-6, the same score that saw the Osos earn their season’s first victory Sunday.
Still, while Raton coach Ray Hancock was happy with the victory, he still sees room for improvement.
“I feel good for my boys,” he said. “Second professional win, which makes everybody happy. I’m a little bit disappointed in our play. We had some breakdowns and mental flubs that shouldn’t have happened. Of course, I am coaching a bunch of young guys, but we’re at the level now where some of the things we’re doing is not exactly in the best of baseball, let me put it that way.”
Fuego coach BIll Moore also wasn’t happy.
“The score was indicative of the way it went,” he said. “We didn’t play as well as we can and Raton has a better baseball team than we were for the last two nights.”
The Osos scored in six of the nine innings, starting with three in the bottom of the first when A.J. Doyle doubled in Stedman Smith and Michael Lange, who walked against Santa Fe starter Nick Huff, and Zach Kreegar, who was hit.
Willie Frederick faced only 11 Fuego through three, while Raton added another trio of runs in the bottom of the third.
Logan Morello opened with a double, came home on a Louie Saenz single then Michael Lange homered to make it 6-0 Raton.
Santa Fe finally put numbers on the board when Larry Rodriguez singled, advanced on an error and came home on a Jimmie Maxwell double.
Frederick helped his own cause in the fifth when, after again shutting the Fuego down, he homered, making it 7-0 Osos.
“Couldn’t have asked for anything more,” Hancock said of his starter. “I was going to take him out in the fifth; he begged me to leave him in. I’m glad I did. That’s when he hit the bomb. That was sort of like the icing on the cake. I’m fairly lucky, most of my pitchers can hit. When I was picking my team, I was looking for pitchers who can hit.”
Austin Parker took the mound for the Fuego in the sixth, giving up two more Ratons runs when Saenz singled, Lange walked, and, with two outs, a wild pitch and error brought them both home.
Santa Fe had its biggest inning in the seventh off Raton reliever Cameron Powers.
Josh Barnett walked, advanced on a wild pitch and put out, then hame home on the second out of the inning. But he third was more elusive, as Rodriguez and Odoms singled, Maxwell walked to load the bases and Joe BLair singled to close the gap to 9-5.
Raton matched the scoring off Santa Fe relievers Brandon Jordan and Charlie McCready.
Jordan hit one batter and walked another, then McCready got the second out of the inning. But an errors brought in two runners and after Lange singled, Kreegar for the third run of the stanza.
Charlie Calamia scored the final run of the game in the eighth for the Fuego, hitting a single and coming around on an error and put out.
With five Santa Fe errors and four by Raton, neither team had the best of days on the field, but Hancock saw plusses and minuses in the defense.
“We do have some mental breakdowns, which is showing, but, again, it’s the start of the season,” he said. “It’s a long season. I am finally getting a chance to put my real team together. I’ve had to send some players home. Didn’t want to, but that’s the way it works. I think we’re coming together as a team. I think within five to 10 more games we should be extremely solid.”
The Osos don’t have five to 10 more games to get ready. With the Pecos League’s straight-through-the-season schedule, they’ll head to Santa Fe Tuesday for theirr first road trip of the year. Hancock said he’s looking forward to the trip.
“First off, I’m looking to go to Santa Fe. I’ve never been there before, so I think I’m going to enjoy that,” he said. “I hope it’s a good game. Of course, I do hope we come out on top but I hope it’s a good game for the fans.”
Moore said he’ll take it upon himself to get his squad where it needs to be.
“I’m going to go home tonight and I’m going to look at the books and I’m going to see what I can do to get our team in a position to win,” he said. “We haven’t lost a series. If we win the next two games, we split the series. We’re still .500. Go on to the next series and see what happens there. Tomorrow’s a good day for us and a fresh start.”
Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Fort Marcy Park.
Phil Grondin contributed to this story
Michael Lange is greeted by the team after he hit a two-run home run. (Photo by Marty Mayfield)
Stedman Smith slides safe into second during Game 2 between Santa Fe and Raton. (Photo by Marty Mayfield)
Cody Langham makes the fly ball catch. (Photo by Marty Mayfield)
Cody Langham goes for the ball during the Raton-Santa Fe game. (Photo by Marty Mayfield)
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