Taos out-pitches White Sands for 6-5 victory
Pupfish starter Matt Gibbs faces down Blizzard starter Kody Gordan. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — It was a pitcher’s duel at the Aquarium Sunday afternoon, as Taos and White Sands fought to a 6-5 Blizzard victory. Both starters gave up all the runs with relievers on both teams pitching outstanding games.
It was something Taos manager Matthew Leahy has been waiting for all season.
“We did well,” he said. “Like the last couple of games, we pitched. We pitched our way out of situations. And our bats will always have our backs. They’ll balance out, but our pitchers really stepped up to it today and pitched extremely well. One of the best-pitched ball games in the later innings that I’ve seen. This is the type of stuff, that with the right guys, it makes it a lot easier for the manager. And we got the right guys come in and it worked out well for us.”
While the Pupfish got most of their runs in one big inning, the Pupfish chipped away.
White Sands starter Matt Gibbs allowed one run in the bottom of the first — with two outs, Blair Springfield walked, stole second and scored on a Calvin Culver single, he kept the next three innings scoreless.
The Pupfish scored two off Kody Gordan in the second when George Ban walked and Mark Leacox homered. They added two in the fourth when Ban singled, Leacox doubled him in and scored on a put out. White Sands made it 5-1 in the fifth on a Jerry Gonzales walk and Cody Collins double.
But the bottom of the fifth belonged to the Blizzard.
“We ran their starter,” Leahy said. “He was left in for a batter too long and we took advantage of that.”
“We just had one bad inning,” said Pupfish manager Ernie Munoz. “I wouldn’t even say it was a bad inning. A couple of balls got hit and we gave up a three-run home run and it ended up being a five-run inning. It was a good game all around.”
With one out, James Martinez walked and Kyle RIchardson single. After advancing on a wild pitch, Martinez scored on a Culver single, Richardson came home on an error then Cody Coffman hit a three-run home run to make it 6-5 Taos.
And that was where the score sat, as Pupfish relievers Nick Alexander, Chris Anklam and Justin Mauldin combined for only one more hit in the final three innings, and Blizzard Mike Russo, Sam Briend and Shayne Harold only allowed two additional hits.
“We did well. I’m very impressed with our pitchers. Just very impressed with our pitchers,” Leahy said.
“There’s not much to say about it,” Munoz said. “It was a good game. They scored one more run than we did tonight.”
And with the Pupfish only getting seven hits and Taos six, there weren’t a lot of hitters with big averages. Leacox led the ‘Fish, going 2-for-4 with two runs and 3 RBI. Collins was 2-for-5. Culver was 2-for-5 with one run and 2 RBI for Taos.
Taos will again be the home team when the teams meet Monday at the Aquarium, something Leahy said his team likes.
“I don’t know what it is with this team, but any time we’re the home team, whether it’s at home or on the road, it’s almost a different ball club. Different mentality, And I’m beginning to like it with all the end-loaded home games we have in front of us.”
Blair Springfield steals second base. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Mark Leacox is congratulated for his home run. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
Mark Leacox take the swing for a double. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
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