Baseball from the Bottom the Carlsbad Bats
2011 Season recap the Carlsbad Bats-
The Carlsbad Bats were a complete disaster from the first time they reported to Spring Training in Houston Texas.
If the Pecos League was the lowest professional baseball league in North America then the Bats were the worst team in America.
They didn't have a coaching staff, they didn't have clear means of transportation and the had no offense whatsoever.
What Carlsbad did have was a decent starting rotation which is unusual for Travel Teams. Jay Acton assembled the Carlsbad from New York City, but Jay had heart surgery early in the league and was out of commision for several weeks in the early going. John Aber was the original manager and he lost 24 straight games. They almost won a game on June 7th actually having an 11-3 lead in the 7th inning in Alamogordo, but in Bat like fashion they blew it.
Ryan Powell took over for John Aber who was the original manager. The Bats immediately responded to Powell. They split a series from Alpine and suddenly were in every game. They hosted a home series in Carlsbad New Mexico and got swept three games by Alpine. Then they reloaded and took 2 of 4 from Las Cruces. They played another home game in Del Rio Texas against Alpine and lost 11-9 in extra innings. The Bats took 2 of 4 from Ruidoso at the end of the season when Ruidoso was saving pitching. But the Bats had an affect on the playoff standings. Roswell never lost to Carlsbad and thus won the regular season title. Alpine and Las Cruces were essentially tied for the final playoff spot but Alpine played Carlsbad more thus had easier games and advanced to the playoffs. Las Cruces played the majority of its schedule against White Sands who was fierce in the month of June before all of the players left.
The Bats gave players a place to play, they were 25 baseball jobs that wouldn't have happened. Some of the players took advantage of this and actually got moved up to higher teams.
Jason Hyland who didn't start most of the season for the Bats went to Ruidoso and carried the Osos in the playoffs and was the best hitter in the Pecos League playoffs with 3 home runs.
Gil Tussey was in the right place at the right time, he got called up to El Paso in the American Association when the Diablos were in a pinch for arms. This was in the heat of the Pecos League pennant race and no other Pecos League Team would surrender arms so Tussey got the call from the Bats to the American Association.
- Greg Perret was the best offensive player for the Bats with 179 at bats and at .285 average, he was the only all star from the Bats Team
- Kieran Bradford was a late season acquistion that really helped down the stretch, he hit .344 with 93 with 3 home runs. He cemented himself a job for the 2012 season with Trinidad because of his performance and was the main reason for the Carlsbad late season turnaround. He never saw the field in White Sands.
- Bryant Veiga had three home runs in 100 at bats and hit .310
- David Holcombe hit .367 for the Bats after demanding his release from Ruidoso were he never saw the field.
- James Mays served as teams lead off hitter he lead team with 16 stolen bases but also lead team with 49 strikeouts
- Ryan Kaup was the teams best defensive player, he was a SS that hit .333 and had numerous Pecos League teams wanting him for the 2012 season.
- Jason Hyland was by the teams best hitter in Spring Training. Jason had to leave back to the Northeast during the season so he didn't play much. He helped Ruidoso sweep White Sands in playoffs and almost helped Ruidoso win it all.
- Mike Goldy played everyday for Carlsbad from start to finish. Opposing fans knew him as guy with the Oakleys, he lead team with 180 at bats.
- Altitude killed the pitching staff,
- Seth Merchant was the teams best pitcher but was traded to Roswell in mid season down the stretch he will attempt to make Amarillo's team in the American Associaton in 2012.
- John Maskee lead the team with a 2-8 record with 66.1 innings pitched
- Steve Merslich actually had the best ERA on the team with a 5.53
- On 06/29/2011 the team lost 25-8 in Ruidoso and had three pitchers allow 8 runs or more.
- On 7/17/2011 the team lost 20-0 in Ruidoso when starter Joe Snider got 1 out and gave up 8 runs, Derek Luque pitched 5.2 only allowing 12 runs.
The Bats were the only team in the league not have a salary or any team provided transportation, they got hotels in the visiting cities. Their In the high New Mexico Altitudes the offensive numbers were the huge difference. Their pitching could have gotten them to 15 wins.
- They only hit 26 home runs all year as a team, Las Cruces hit 70.
- Their team batting average was .274, Ruidoso was .324
- The Bats only scored 341 runs compared to Roswell's 543 runs.
- Their pitching numbers were not as off pace, their team ERA was 8.28, compared to Ruidoso at 6.33 and Las Cruces at 5.82
Same of the greatest moments happened with the Bats:
- The dugout flooding in the Ruidoso Monsoons involved Bats Players.
- Andrew Riddick charging the mound and chasing one of the Bats pitchers in the outfield was a dark moment.
- 6/23/2011 was ladies night at Apodoca Park in Las Cruces, the Vaqueros lost to the Bats 11-8. During the game three Vaqueros heckled Bats manager Ryan Powell so bad he chased them in the parking lot. The fans insulted Powell to the point the umpires were laughing as Powell coached third base. The fans were removed in the 8th inning.
The Pecos League luckily did not try to put a team in Carlsbad New Mexico as originally thought. The team represented Carlsbad New Mexico and Carlsbad New Mexico didn't even know they had a team. Everywhere the bats went, fans would say hey I know where Carlsbad Caverns are or I have a cousin in Carlsbad. The whole reason for the Bats was to get a team in Carlsbad for the 2012 season. Towards the end of the season the Pecos League met with the city of Carlsbad about bringing the Bats back as full time team for the 2012 season but it was not meant to be. No ballpark that meets league requirements. Carlsbad is still the perfect geographic location and all teams drive through Carlsbad numerous times with trips to Alpine. When Alpine and Carlsbad played a three game series at Caveman Corral in Carlsbad the teams just wanted out. Carlsbad's heat was extreme 109 the day of the game and the winds were close the 35 mph. Ryan Stevens of the Alpine Cowboys said it was the worst facility he had seen in his 4 years of professional baseball. Lea Street Park is even worse. Same of the local Carlsbad fans thought it wasn't fair to expect them to support a team that was 9-58. If Carlsbad held Spring Training in Carlsbad and had a decent team the support would have grown but it is not meant to be.
Towards the end of the season alot of New Mexico and Alpine fans began to like the Bats. The players were for the most part very likeable guys.
And in the end of the season they played hard. They took over an entire house in Alamogordo and learned to adjust to Desert life. By the end of the season many of the Bats players were sad to go and will remember the Summer of 2011 for the rest of their lives.
For more information visit Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs LLC. http://www.PecosLeague.com 575-680-2212