Zagone and Carden amazing in 1-0 Pupfish victory
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
SANTA FE — There was very little scoring in Santa Fe Friday as Fort Marcy Park — usually the site of multiple runs — played host to a pitcher’s duel, with White Sands getting the only run of the game in the top of the first, then holding off a ninth-inning comeback try by the Fuego to win 1-0.
“We did great,” said Pupfish manager Ernie Munoz. “We played great defense behind Eric Zagone. Zagone threw his butt off today. The best game I’ve seen pitched all year, especially in a park like this. To put up zeros, it was amazing. It was a great game to be a part of. It was a lot of fun.”
“We played excellent defense and our pitcher was outstanding,” agreed Santa Fe manager Bill Moore. “Unfortunately, they did the same thing and they got the only run of the game. I honestly believe, this is my second year here at Fort Marcy and it’s a very small ball park, and I don’t ever recall a 1-0 game at Fort Marcy involving the Pecos League before. Both pitchers threw probably as just as good as you could possibly pitch a baseball game, and unfortunately we came up on the bad end of it.”
The only run in the game came when Jerry Gonzales singled on a 1-1 count to open the game. Christian Ramirez walked and, with one out, Cody Collins singled, but after that the game belonged to the pitchers.
Santa Fe starter Austin Carden went the full nine innings, giving up only that one run on seven hits and two walks. Pupfish Eric Zagone only went eight, but he only allowed three runs and five walks, one of those to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
Zagone walked Jimmy Maxwell, Moore brought in William Smalls to run and Munoz brought in his closer, Ernesto Zaragoza. Kellen Lee walked to put runners on first and second then Zaragoza got the first out of the inning with a strikeout.
Evan Mansell battled Zaragoza pitch for pitch, fouling a number of pitches off before walking to load the bases. Brian Delrosso came in to run for Mansell but Zaragoza got Carden to hit his first pitch into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
There aren’t enough superlatives to describe Friday’s game.
“Defense was spectacular,” Munoz said. “They made all the plays behind (Zagone). No errors. You know the fields in the Pecos League. If you go one game with no errors then you played great defense.”
And, in a park where the hitters usually draw the accolades, “They did enough,” Munoz said. “They did enough to win today. We usually hit the ball. We’re averaging about 10 hits a game and tonight we just did enough and a victory is a victory.”
“I think these teams are very close to each other in most aspects of the game,” Moore said. “I heard they were a bunch of big hitters and they did that the first two nights, but they also pitch very well. I think both clubs are very similar.”
And neither manager plans to change anything Saturday, with Kevin Camacho starting for the Fuego and ace Justin Kuks for White SAnds.
“We’re going to come out here and do what we’ve been doing,” Munoz said. “We’re going to try to keep it rolling. I think that’s four in a row for us now. We’re just going to come out and play baseball.”
Phil Grondin contributed to this story
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