Published: 12:01 am, Sun. Apr. 24th, 2016Updated: 12:02 am
If the Bulldog baseball team has been lacking in offense of late, they made up for it in spades Friday in Lovington.
The Artesia boys defeated the Wildcats by a combined tally of 43-2 in their District 4-AAAAA double header, posting 27 hits and 35 RBI. Both games ended via the 10-after-five run rule, albeit it not quickly, as the ‘Dogs batted around twice in each outing, with the boys in orange taking the opener 19-0 and the nightcap 24-2.
“We definitely got a bunch of hits in both games,” head coach Lee Johnson said Saturday. “We got some good pitching and played pretty good defense, too.”
The Bulldogs wasted no time putting the game effectively out of reach in Game One Friday.
A Cody Fuentes single and Taylor Null double to lead thingsoff, followed by a Grady Frost walk, loaded the bases for cleanup batter Jharyss Granger, who launched a double into right to clear the bags. A Daniel Moncada RBI single was followed by another three-RBI double, this time courtesy of Miguel Martinez, and Frost would add a two-bagger of his own in his second at-bat of the inning to plate two more, giving the ‘Dogs a 10-0 lead in the top of the first.
Seven more Artesia runners came around in the second on a Null two-RBI single, a bases-loaded walk by Granger, and back-to-back doubles for two and one RBI respectively by Carlos Carrasco and Tristan Bowden.
The ‘Dogs then rounded out the final in the top of five in consecutive RBI base hits by Frost and Granger.
Artesia notched a modest four runs in the first two innings of Game Two, waiting till the top of the third to blow the lid off once again.
Granger posted his third RBI double of the game in that inning, and Frost and Dominic Madrid had one each of the same, all to help compile a 17-0 lead heading into the bottom of the third.
There, the Wildcats ended their drought when Marcos Hernandez – aboard on a two-base error – scored on a passed ball, and Lovington would score again in the fourth on an Omar Holguin RBI double.
But the Bulldogs added seven more in the fifth with help from RBI singles by Trent Taylor, Fuentes, Null, Frost and Anthony Armendariz en route to the 24-2 decision.
Martinez tossed a two-hitter for Artesia in the opener, striking out seven and walking one, while Bowden took the win in relief in Game Two with two hits and one earned run. Starter Brooks Donaldson was hitless through three complete with no earned runs and a trio of strikeouts.
At the plate in the nightcap, Frost and Granger went 3-3 with five RBI between them, while Null was 3-4 with two doubles and two RBI, Frost 2-3 with a double and three RBI, and Granger 2-3 with a double and five runs batted in in Game One.
The ‘Dogs will next head north to Roswell Tuesday for a 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. double header against Goddard, an important rematch for the boys in orange. Artesia took one from Class 5A’s top-ranked team April 15 at Brainard Park, 2-0, before falling 6-1 in the second game. The Bulldogs will close out district play Friday versus Roswell High – with whom they also split in the first round – at home.
“We’ll be seeing real good pitching and a better team Tuesday, but hopefully our hitting will transition and we’ll see how it goes,” said Johnson. “Obviously, we’re going to have to get good pitching again, as well, and play real good defense, and if our hitting continues, I think we have a real good chance of beating them twice.
“We just have to play consistent. For the most part, we have. We’ve been trying to develop, to get our bats going, so hopefully we can get four out of four in these last games. If we can do that, we’ll be in a good spot coming into that selection Sunday. But we’re excited to play Goddard again. They’re a good team and we’ve been playing pretty good, too, so it ought to be two interesting games.”