Pupfish take 3-of-4 vs. Alpine
Starting Pupfish pitcher Chris Peacock throws a strike. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — After losing four out of five to Alpine in the season’s first series, White Sands turned things around the second time the two teams met. The Pupfish took two out of three from the Cowboys, wrapping up with a 14-9 victory.
“We came out and hit the ball again today and scored a lot of runs and got to get our reserves in and get them some at bats and playing time,” said White Sands manager Ernie Munoz. “It was a lot of fun. Everybody got to put a little bit of effort into today’s win.”
With starter Chris Peacock on the mound on the regulars in the field, the ‘Fish shut the Cowboys down through five, allowing no runs on only three hits. Meanwhile, the White Sands bats pounded the Alpine pitching.
The Pupfish went up 4-0 in the bottom of the first on four hits — including a double by Christian Ramirez — and an error. They added a fifth run in the second when J.J. Costantino singled and came home on a Ramirez single, walk and wild pitch, and another five in the third.
Cowboy starter Mike Castrignano couldn’t get an out in the third inning, but reliever Jeremy Burright didn’t do much better.
Castrignano hit a batter and gave up two singles, scoing two, and while Burright got the first out on a fielder’s choice, a Ramirez double and error brought three more Pupfish home. Neither team scored in the fourth or fifth, and Alpine finally broke through against Peacock in the sixth.
Derrick Fox and Tyler Rost both singled, Eric Herman walked; then an error scored Fox and Rost came home on a D.J. Johnson single.
Munoz started bringing in his subs in the seventh — DJ Stinsman came in to pitch and pinch hitters came in then stayed in the field — but White Sands continued to score, getting three more runs off Brian Milliman on three hits — a Costantino double led the way — a walk and a hit batter.
Alpine tallied three runs off four hits in the eighth, while the Pupfish added another run in the bottom of the stanza.
The Cowboys made things interesting in the ninth when Rost walked, Casanova Donaldson singled and Rost came home on an error.
Then, with two out and John Saavedra on the mound, Chris Torrance singled; Kenshoku Takubo walked; Conor Thompson reached on an error and Matt Mara singled, adding another four runs for the visitors. But after Fox singled, Thompson was caught off base and the game — and series — belonged to White Sands.
“I feel great,” Munoz said of the win. “It’s nothing we didn’t expect. We came into the season expecting to win a championship, and that’s the way we’re going to carry ourselves.”
Both sides had some solid hitting. Ramirez was 4-for-4 with three runs; Costantino 3-for-5 with three runs; and Cody Collins and Jerry Gonzalez each 2-for-5.
The Cowboys had as many hits as the Pupfish — 15 — but simply couldn’t make them count. Chris Torrance was 2-for-2 with two runs and RBI; Rost was 3-for-4 with two runs; Donaldson 2-for-5 with one run; and Fox 2-for-six with a run.
After a rough road trip, Alpine is probably happy to head home, where the Cowboys will face the 14-3 Invaders. Friday’s game is set for a 7:05 (CDT) start. White Sands welcomes fresh-off-a-victory Raton, but Munoz said it doesn’t matter who the Pupfish face. They have the same plan every day.
“We do what we’ve been doing,” he said. “We just come out. Swing the bats early and play solid defense. It doesn’t matter who we play. We don’t really play against the other team. We just play ourselves every day.”
Pupfish pitcher Chris Peacock grounds out against Alpine starter Mike Castrignano. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Mark Leacox and Jerry Gonzales came in on a 2 RBI single by new Pupfish third baseman Miguel Flores in the third. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
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