Solid effort by Taos, Las Vegas ends with close Blizzard victory
Taos runner Khyle Dimino is thrown out attempting to steal second. Tag made by second baseman Randy Wells. (Photo by John T. Denne)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
TAOS — Taos came back home Wednesday to the friendly confines of the Tundra, and despite an unusually strong wind blowing in from left field, the Blizzard got back on the plus side of the ledger with a 10-7 victory over the Train Robbers.
“It was a very good baseball game today,” said Las Vegas manager Casey Dill. “Both teams played good all the way around. Good pitching. Good defense.”
“We beat up Las Vegas pretty good today,” said Taos manager Matt Leahy, with the rest of his abbreviated comments simply about the pitching. “Angel Gonzales threw very well. Shayne Miller threw excellent. Mike Russo, Eric Berkowitz and Sean Gregory came in and got the save. Very, very strong. The best pitching performance of the year. And that’s about it. Pitching, pitching, pitching.”
Well, there was a little hitting, but with play by play and accurate stats again unavailable, a detailed story is not possible.
The game was cl;ose early, with the Train Robbers going up 1-0 in the first; Taos taking a 2-1 lead in the second; then Vegas tying it at 2-2 in the third. The Blizzard another run in the fourth and three in the fifth to go up 6-2, but the big Robber inning was the sixth, when they sent Gonzales to the showers with five runs.
But while Michael Kershner shut the Blizzard down in the bottom of the stanza, Anthony Nalepa and Reggie Hochstedler had a tough time shutting them down in the seventh, giving up four runs on four his and two walks.
The relievers for both sides kept the rest of the game scoreless, with Taos holding on for the win.
“They had one kind of big inning there at the end,” Dill said. “I won’t say that our bullpen completely let us down, but we took a one-run lead into the seventh inning and (our) pitcher came in and he didn’t do a terrible job. Gave up a walk and a couple of hits. Couple of chips over the infielders’ heads. And it led to some runs. It was a well-played game by both teams.”
And while several Train Robber runs came in on home runs — Andrew Lopez and Ryan Lopez sent balls out of the park — Dill said the 30 mile-per-hour winds coming in from left field were a factor.
“(They) affected our style of baseball a lot, because we tend to hit the ball out of the ball park and put the ball in the gap and the wind really affected us today,” he said, notonmg three or four shots were caught right on the warning track “that on any other day would have been gone.”
“That cost us a few runs. Not that I’m going to blame the wind on a loss. It was a well-played game by both teams, and at the end of the day, they had an inning that went a little bit better than one of ours and it gave them the win.”
The win agains moves Las Vegas to even in the win-loss columns, and Dill is looking to take a third victory over the Blizzard at home Thursday.
“If we could win three out of four games every series, then we’re going to be in great shape,” he said. “So we’re definitely going out there looking for the series win tomorrow. Get us back on the winning track. We’re playing great baseball right now. If we can continue to play baseball the way we have been the last 10 games, then we’re going to continue to win a lot of games. So yeah, looking forward to getting back back at home in front of the home crowd and getting back on the winning track.”
That game is set for 7 p.m. at Rodriguez Field.
Second baseman Luis Gonzales gets the out at second in this double play attempt, but the runner was safe at first. Sliding here is Las Vegas player Joey Haskell. (Photo by John T. Denne)
Chris Constantino is unhappy after taking a called third strike to end the eighth inning. Home umpire Steve Bartelstein makes the call. (Photo by John T. Denne)
Las Vegas player Chris Wilson is not able to get back to first before Jordan Chiero tags him out. (Photo by John T. Denne)
Randy Wells watches a pitch cross the plate. (Photo by John T. Denne)
A young fan watches the game. (Photo by John T. Denne)
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