Strong pitching leads Alpine past White Sands
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — Just as Cowboy coach Ryan Stevens predicted, Alpine closed out its series at White Sands with another victory, topping the Pupfish 7-4 Saturday to go 4-1 on the season.
“We just consistently controlled them the whole game,” Stevens said. “That was more normal Cowboy-style play.”
Except for the second, when the Cowboys put three runs on the board, neither team could get more than one run across the plate in any inning. After a 0-0 first, Alpine tok a lead it would never give up.
D.J. Johnson reached on an error, then, with one out, Kenshoku Takubo, Billy Crowe, Shane Youngdale and Derrick Fox all singled, with Crowe, Youngblood and Fox each getting RBIs.
The ‘Fish got a run back in the bottom of the stanza when Case Rigby hit a solo home run — his first of the year — but White Sands wasted back-to-back singles after that, stranding two.
Both sides added a run in the fourth. Cowboy pitcher Shane Youngdale homered for Alpine while Pupfish Chris DiBiasi singled and came home on a Ryan Pembroke single. Stevens, who’s not shy about saying he doesn’t like pitchers hitting, said he was surprised with Youngdale’s shot.
“It’s a surprise any time a pitcher hits a home run,” Stevens said. “He closed his eyes and swung as hard as he could.”
Both teams again scored one in the fifth: Cowboy Johnson reached on an error, stole second then came home on a single by Brycen Bell. Chris Anklam led off the White Sands inning with a walk, then, after two outs, scored on an Anklam single.
Neither side scored in the sixth, then the Pupfish closed the gap to 5-4 in the bottom of the seventh off relievers Josh Trejo and Matt Mara. Trejo walked the first three batters he faced, then Mara got the next three out, but a Mike Mendoza fly ball scored George Ban.
But that was the last Pupfish run, and Alpine added one in the eighth when Trejo singled, stole second and came home on a Herman single; and one in the ninth on a ground rule double by Johnson, a Bell single and a two-out White Sands error.
Stevens said his MVPs were not the best hitters on the day — Bell was 3-for-3 with an RBI; Youngdale 2-for-3 with one run and RBI; Herman 3-for-5 with an RBI; and Fox 2-for-5 with and RBI — but his pitchers.
Cruse managed to get out of the sixth with no Pupfish runs, despite a pair of errors in the outfield, and Mara’s work in the seventh.
“Those guys deserve MVP of the game. They were awesome,” the manager said.
Only DiBiasi (2-for-3, one run) and Chris Collins (2-for-4) had multiple hits for White Sands.
The Cowboys now head home — something Stevens said everyone’s ready for — for their home opener vs. Taos Sunday at 6:05 p.m. Stevens said the Cowboys are ready for the Blizzard.
“Bring them on. Bring them on,” he said. “They better sleep with one eye open.”
The Pupfish head over the hill to face league leading (5-0) Roswell in a 5 p.m. Sunday matchup.
For more information visit Pecos League of Professional Baseball Clubs LLC. http://www.PecosLeague.com 575-680-2212