Low-scoring game a surprise in big-hitting Fort Marcy Park
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
SANTA FE — Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe is known as a hitter’s paradise. A high-scoring park where balls naturally fly out, especially over the short right-field fence. So to see a 4-3 game there says a lot about both teams’ pitching. And that’s exactly what happened Wednesday, as the Triggers topped the Fuego 4-3.
“I feel good,” said Trinidad manager J.D. Droddy. “The Fuego have given us three really, really good games. It’s the kind of game that’s real baseball, as I heard someone say a little while ago. Not typical Pecos League games at all. It was what? 4-3 and we had to shut the door in the ninth inning with our super closer, Benji Waite. It was just a great game. Good play on both sides.”
“We’re pitching very well,” agreed Fuego manager Bill Moore. “Last three games, I think we’ve throw the ball as well as we have all summer long. We’re just not getting the big hits.”
Neither side got the big hits Wednesday, as the only multi-base hit was a double by Trigger Matt Hunt. Trinidad just managed to scrape out that one extra run.
“Hitters did well,” Droddy said of his squad. “(Larry) Rodriguez pitched a very good game, but we got some hits and we got a lead. He kept Santa Fe in it. Rodriguez is an outstanding pitcher. Not a bad hitter, either. It was just a fun game to watch.”
Moore wasn’t quite as happy with his offense, noting Santa Fe was 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“That’s tough. You’ve got to get big players to make big hits, and the last night we’ve not been able to do that. We’re going to shuffle the deck, deal them out again tomorrow and see what happens.”
The first run came in the top of the first when Matt Hunt reached on one error and scored on another. The next runs didn’t come until the fifth, when both teams scored.
Trinidad put up one run when Jason Venya reached on an error, advances on a Wink Nolan single and came home on an out.
The Fuego got their first run off Trigger Chris Shaklee, who gave up a Bryson Sims single. Sims then stole second, advanced on a wild pitch and scored on a single by Josh Barnett.
It was Shaklee’s first start of the season, coming out of the bullpen with limited pitches, and Droddy said he threw a great game.
Trinidad got another run in the sixth, scoring on back-to-back two-out singles by Mike Goldy and Nolen and walks to Venya and Richie Serritella. That walked-in run sent Rodriguez to the showers, but Josh White closed out the stanza without any more damage.
The Triggers added their final run in the seventh when White walked Hunt, then Charlie McCready allowed a Sam DiMatteo single and Hunt scored on an out.
But then it was Trinidad’s turn to sweat as Santa Fe came back with runs in the eighth and ninth.
With one out in the eight, Jimmy Maxwell walked, went to second and third on wild pitches by Dylan Porter, then scored when Kyle Zimmerman singled. Santa Fe closed the gap in the ninth when Sims and Barnett both walked, then moved up a base on a balk by Benji Waite. A putout scored Sims, but Waite knuckled down, getting a final strikeout to end the close game.
The big difference in the game were the Fuego errors.
“We had good, solid pitching from every guy who went out there,” Moore said. “The four that they put up, I think only one was earned. We made some errors. We dropped a couple of fly balls. Both of those runs scored. We bobbled a throw. That run scored. When you’re scuffling with the bat, it’s hard to give away runs.”
Droddy also wasn’t quite as happy with his defense as he was with other parts of the game.
“We were not up to par on defense,” he said. “We’ve struggled a little bit. I tried to build the team on speed and defense. The speed’s there. The defense, we still have a little bit of work to do. This field plays a little different than the ones we’ve been playing the last few games. I know White Sands, their field is really hard, and the ball bounces a whole lot differently than it does here, for example. And ours at home is somewhat in between. We still have some work to do on defense, but we’re getting there.”
The win is the fourth in a row for Trinidad, and third in a row over Santa Fe. Droddy said he’ll throw fast-ball pitcher Zach Leiten Thursday, with the goal the same as always.
“We always expect to win and tomorrow’s no exception,” he said. “We do realize we’ll probably lose a game or two before this 70 game season is over, but every time we take the field we expect to win.”
Moore is still considering how he’ll tweak his lineup to get back on the winning side of things.
“I’m taking a good long look at the scorebooks and seeing if maybe I can shake it up a little bit. I don’t know. I haven’t made up my mind yet.”
First pitch is 6 p.m. at Fort Marcy.
Phil Grondin contributed to this story
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