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Fuego nip Osos in series closer

5/23/2013-The short right field in Fort Marcy Park was a big reason for all the home runs in Wednesday's game between Santa Fe and Raton. (Photo by Andrew Dunn)

By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer

SANTA FE -- Once again, Santa Fe and Raton played a very close match in Fort Marcy Park Wednesday, and, once again, the Fuego came out on top by one, this time 6-5.

One big Santa Fe inning made the difference, as for the most part, the starting pitchers did their jobs and the home-run friendly park contributed to more than half of the total runs.

"My guys played very well," said Fuego manager Bill Moore. "Jonathan Sintes threw a very, very good, maybe a career game. He threw 107 pitches, perhaps, and he got into the ninth inning. (Jared) Bowser came in and did what he gets the big bucks for and closed it out and we take a W home."

And even though they lost, Raton manager Ray Hancock sounded a lot happier with his team than the day before, when he promised changes if the team didnt straighten up.

"Their mentality changed. That happens when they get threatened with death," he laughed. "Not that I threatened them with death, but they got the message. I brought on my bench players tonight. They actually done a very good job. Im extremely happy, extremely proud of them because some of them have been sitting on the bench for a week. Havent sen the field. My boy that catches for me in the bullpen (Adam Ziegler) actually came out of the bullpen, hit a home run. The first one for him this year."

Santa Fe went up 1-0 in the first when Charlie Calamia singled, went to third on a Jimmy Maxwell single and a walk, and scored when Eric Scott was hit.

The Osos went up 2-1 in the top of the second when Zach Kreegar hit a two-run home run. Santa Fe had its big inning in the fifth, with Josh Barnett, Devonte Odoms and Maxwell all hitting solo home runs, and Scott singling and coming home on back-to-back singles by Kyle Zimmerman and Chris Wakefield.

Louie Saenz doubled to open the sixth and scored on put out, closing the gap to 5-3, but Raton didnt go quietly. In the top of the ninth, Doyle singled and came around on Zieglers home run. Matt Lynch then doubled to put the tying run on base, but Bowser closed out the game with two strikeouts, and pinch runner Steadman Smith was caught stealing for the final out.

Still, Hancock liked what he saw.

"I feel good about it because I learned a lot from my players. It shows we do have grit and were not going to give up. And I can go to my bench when I have to to move forward. Sometime you have to use your bench and tonight proved we can use our bench and probably be successful. So I have no problem."

Both teams are home for their next series. Raton will fave Las Vegas while Santa Fe will get a second series vs. Taos.

"I anticipate a pretty good game," Hancock said. "At the beginning of the season I thought that team was stacked. Theyve had like five losses, I guess, but I still consider them to be stacked and Im sure theyre looking forward to coming up there and playing us."

As for his plans vs. the Blizzard, "(Were going to) come out, hit early, have a little fun and see what happens," Moore said.

Phil Grondin contributed to this story
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