Pupfish put Cowboys in deep hole early for 7-3 victory
Ernie Munoz singles up the middle to start a 16-hit game for the Pupfish. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — A strong pitching performance by White Sands starter Justin Kuks combined with a rough start by Alpine starter Carlos Camacho led to a 7-3 Pupfish victory over the Cowboys Friday in the final game of the current series between the two teams.
“Justin Kuks came out and pitched his butt off and we played defense behind him and we put up another 14 hits like we have been doing and played baseball again,” said White Sands manager Ernie Munoz.
“We put ourselves in a pretty big hole in the beginning and it was very hard to dig out of,” said Alpine manager Ryan Stevens. “They had their ace on the mound. Kuks is their ace.”
While Kuks was holding the Cowboys to three runs on five hits in seven innings, Camacho was hammered in the bottom of the first, all runs coming with two outs.
After the first two batters went down, Munoz Cody Collins and Mike Mondoza singled, Mendoza getting an RBI; Mark Leacox doubled in one; Jerry Gonzales singled in two; and Miguel Flores singled in one.
Josh Cruse came in in relief for Alpine in the second and basically shut White Sands down the rest of the way, giving up only one run in the sixth on a Flores double and J.J. Constantino triple in the sixth.
The Cowboys finally got to Kuks in the fourth, scoring when D.J. Johnson was hit and Cruse singled him in; then got their final two runs in the eighth. Alpine loaded the bases and scored two off a Joel Carranza single, but that inning was typical of the Cowboys Friday, as they couldn’t get timely hits.
“We left way too many runners on base,” Stevens said. “We probably left over 10 runners on base, I would assume (11, actually). We had bases loaded numerous times.”
So while Alpine reliever Jeremy Burright gave u one more run in the bottom of the seventh on a Munoz ground rule double and Mendoza single, had even a few of those runners crossed the plate, the game would have been closer.
“Timely hitting was definitely not there, and Kuks threw a good game. He did,
“It was always going to be a good series with Alpine,” Munoz said. “They’re a good team, too. Good game all around and good game for us going into this next series.”
That next series — before the Pupfish finally head out on the road — is at home vs. Taos beginning at 6:06 p.mn. Saturday. It’s the first meeting between the two teams, and Munoz said he doesn’t plan any changes.
“We’re just going to keep playing our game. I don’t know anything about them but we’ll find out tomorrow.”
Justin Kuks on the mound. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Logan Lotti backs off as the ball comes in a little too close. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Derek Fox gets a shot to center with the bases loaded that just comes up short, a consistent problem with the Cowboys Friday. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Mike Mendoza is called out stealing second. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
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