Taos relief pitching coming together-tops White Sands 14-10
Kyle Richardson gets a lead off single off Eric Zagone. (Photo by Josh Szwaczkowski)
By Karen Boehler
Pecos League writer
ALAMOGORDO — While White Sands was looking at two big innings as the reason for its 14-10 loss to Taos, Blizzard manager Matthew Leahy was crowing about both his relief pitching — something that suffered early in the season — and base running.
“We just had a couple of big innings where we gave up five in one inning and four in another and that was that,” said Pupfish manager Ernie Munoz. “Can’t give up big innings. Big innings are killing us.”
“Our relief pitching. Relief pitching. Relief pitching,” Leahy said. “Our bats, we’ll battle with anybody. White Sands has yet to prove they can do anything against our relief pitching. Our team has scored 14 runs before, and we will again. But to steal five bases in a game, that’s the most impressive thing. That what we strive to be; 85-90 percent successful on stolen bases.”
White Sands — once again the visitors in their own park — went up 3-0 in the first when starter Kenny McDowall had a bit of a location problem. J.J. Costantino singled, then Christian Ramirez walked, Munoz was hit and Costantino came in on a wild pitch. After the first out, George Ban singled in Ramirez and Munoz came home on an out.
Taos came back with one in the bottom of the stanza when Kyle RIchardson singled, advanced on an out, stole third and came home on an error.
Blizzard reliever Steve Sanguliano came in in the third and set the ‘Fish down 1-2-3, then Taos added four in the bottom of the stanza, scoring on singles by Richardson, Chris Constantino, and Calvin Culver, and a three-run home run by Cody Coffman.
The Blizzard had another big inning in the fifth, facing three pitchers and scoring five runs. Pupfish starter Eric Zagone walked Constantino and allowed a single to Culver. Chad Hadzinsky got the first out, but Gonzales had an RBI double and Will Arniold and John Apostolo RBI singles.
That brought Nick Alexander to the mound, and he gave up a Steve Sanguliano single, then Arnold scored on a fielder’s choice and Apostolo on an error.
White Sands came back with two in the sixth when Collins singled, Ban tripled then scored on a put out, but Taos added another three.
Reliever Chris Anklam gave up a Constantino double, Culver single, and 2 RBI Coffman double. Coffman came home two outs later on a passed ball. But the seventh was a big one for the Pupfish.
Costantino doubled, Ramirez singled then Costantino stole home. Collins had an RBI double then, after the second out and an error, Mark Leacox hit a 2 RBI single.
Taos got its last run in the bottom of the stanza when James Martinez walked, Ryan Sonberg singled and Martinez scored on a fielder’s choice and Culver single. White Sands put a final run on the board in the eighth when Costantino walked and scored on a Ramirez single, but it was too little, too late.
Culver led the Taos hitting, going 4-for-5 with two runs and RBI, while COstantino was 4-for-4 for the ‘Fish with three runs.
Sanguliano got the win for the Blizzard, while Zagone took the loss.
The teams wrap up the series Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Aquarium, with Taos looking to go 3-1 and White Sands hoping for a split.
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