By Paula Cronic: Freedom Newspapers
PORTALES — The second match-up between Roosevelt County and Clovis Zia in the New Mexico District 3 9-10 division tournament produced a different outcome than the first as Roosevelt County cruised to an 11-1 win on Tuesday night at Rotary Park.
Roosevelt thus forced a second game for the championship in the double-elimination tournament, this time on Zia’s home turf at Beachum Field in Clovis. That game is set for 7 p.m. Thursday.
Zia scored its lone run in the top of the first, but Roosevelt dominated the rest of the way.
Daniel Hernandez pitched four innings for Roosevelt, striking out seven. Eli Tapia came in to work the top of the fifth, and Roosevelt scored twice in the bottom of the inning to end the game on the 10-run rule.
Roosevelt County took the lead for good with two runs in the bottom of the second before Nate Salas keyed a six-run fourth with a grand slam home run.
“Today the kids just played good,” Roosevelt coach Sam Villanueva said. “They hit the ball well, and we had great pitching.
“The kids play hard and never quit, and I know they always give it 110 percent.”
After losing 16-15 to Zia on Saturday, Roosevelt County was determined not to let that happen again.
“I thought we played a really good game,” Roosevelt County’s Sam Roberts. “I just think that Lane Carrasco really helped the team, and Daniel pitched a great game.”
Roberts, Carrasco, Payton Casey and Alex Villanueva all contributed two hits to the Roosevelt attack.
“They’re a real good ballclub,” Roosevelt County assistant Alan Roberts said of Zia. “They beat us once and we beat them once, so it’s going to be a tough game (on Thursday).”