Fuego home runs demolish Osos
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
SANTA FE — Everything went right for Santa Fe Friday, as they pitched, hit and fielded extremely well en route to a 24-5 victory over the Osos.
“It was raining base hits, baby! laughed Fuego manager Bill Moore. “I don’t know if there was any player in the lineup who didn’t have at least one and maybe as many as two base hits.”
The game was only close in the first inning, when Raton went up 2-0 on a single by Travis Fuquay and home run by Zach Kreegar.
Santa Fe came back in the bottom of the stanza on two walks, a two-out, 2 RBI double by pitcher Larry Rodriguez, another walk, and RBI single by Kellen Lee.
After that the Fuego broke the game wide open with 10 runs in the second, three in the third, five in the fourth and three in the fifth before Oso Stedman Smith, normally an outfielder, moved to the mound and shut Santa Fe down the rest of the way.
The 10-run Fuego second featured four home runs: a 3-RBI shot by Rodriguez; 3-RBI dinger by Eric Scott; and solo homers by Charlie Calamia and Josh Barnett.
“Our midget, mighty mouse shortstop Charlie Calamia, got two tonight, and that probably matched his season total,” Moore said.
Calamia got his second HR in the fourth and Rodriguez nailed his second in the third. Jimmy Maxwell rounded out the Fuego shots with a 3-RBI dinger in the fifth. Santa Fe also got doubles from Bryson Sims, Rodriguez and pitcher Brian Hicks, with a total of 27 hits.
For all but two innings, Raton couldn’t get anything off Fuego starter Rodriguez.
“Larry throws a lot of strikes and he makes a guy hit the ball,” Moore said. “You can’t stand there and watch the ball because Larry will strike you out. And once again, our defense played the way they’re supposed to. It was a good W for the Fuego.”
It was another home run off Rodriguez that gave the Ososo their final three runs when Vincent Smarelli doubled, Adam Ziegler singled him in and Ryan Barban hit a two-run blast to make it 24-5.
New acquisition Brian Hicks (traded from Raton) pitched two innings, allowing only two hits.
“I think he performed well,” Moore said. “I think he had a little bit of, ‘I’ve got to show something to my teammates’ and he maybe he was trying to throw a little bit too hard. He got two outs and then he got a couple guys on base and I went out and I said, ‘Are you nervous?’ and he said, ‘Maybe a little bit.’ And I said, ‘What are you nervous about? You’re up 19 runs. It’s not like you’re going to lose this ball game unless you continue to walk guys. So why don’t you just relax and have a little fun?’ He got it done, he went out the next inning and he pitched well.”
Charlie Henjie wrapped up for Santa Fe, getting the Osos out 1-2-3 in the ninth.
Smarelli was the only Oso to have more than one hit, going 2-for-2 with one run scored.
Things get a lot tougher for both teams Saturday, as both will face the Pecos League’s division leaders.
Raton will travel to Trinidad to face the 13-8 Triggers, while the Fuego host 18-6 Roswell. Still, Moore doesn’t sound too concerned.
“According to all indications, (Roswell is) a very, very good ball club,” he said. “I heard they do a lot of the same things we do. I heard they like to run, and hit and run. Put pressure on the other team. I heard they pitch very well. We’re on a little roll right now and we’re ready to go. I think we’ll hopefully play our best ball game tomorrow night and the team that played tonight for us is able to beat the team that plays tomorrow night if we continue to get better like that every night. We’ll be right there.”
Phil Grondin contributed to this story
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