Article Written by: Jason Farmer NEWS-SUN
Photo Taken by: Tony Baker NMTXsports.com
The New Meico Junior college baseball team came out swinging the lumber Friday as the thunderbirds hit seven home runs in NMJC's doubleheader sweep of New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell.
In the top of the first inning, led by Wilberto Negron's three-run blacst, the T-Biirds plated five runs to take early control of the game. NMMI scored one run in each of the second and third innings, to get within three, but never got any closer.
The T-Birds added a run in the top of ath fourth when Larry Leitha crused a homer to ceneter field and two more in the sixth, taking a 8-2 lead. NMMI got its final run in the bottom of the sixth, but NMJC got that run right back in the top of the seventh, with a solo shot from Chase Whesel.
While the T-Birds had three home runs in the game, they finished with just six total hits. Whetsel and Leitha were each 2-for-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Gavin Johnson added a double for the T-Birds only other extra-base hitt. Negron was 1-fo-2 with three runs batted in, two runs scored, and a walk. Ryan Rijo was 0-for-1 with two walkes and an RBBI. Riley Peterson aslo drew apair of walks and severed a run. Colton Buckner also scored for NMJC.
On the mound, DylanBein pitched a complete game for NMJC. Bein allowed six hits, one walk, and three runs, all earned, over his seven innings of work. Bein also struck out 12 of the 21 batters he retired.
In the second game, the T-Birds hit four more home runs. Leitha and Whesel blasted their second in as many games while Buckener and Peterson also added a round tripeer.
New Mexico Junior College scored eight times in the firtst, two in the second , and five more runs in the fourth. NMMI got its only run in the bottom of the rist.
Peterson hit his shot to center field for for the T-Birds final run of an eight-run first inning. Buckner led off the top of the fourth with a solo blast. One out and two batters later, Leitha hit a two-run shot, giving NMJC a 13-1 lead. Levi Dixon followed with a single. Following a fly out from Peterson, whetsel hit the T-Birds third homer (and second two-run shot) of the inning.
After being held to just six hits in the first game, NMJC banged the ball around for 14 hits in the second game. The T-Birds also drew four free passes in the game.
With the exception of Negron, every T-Birds who batted picked up at least one hit. Buckner and Leitha were each 3-for-3. Buckner scored three times, drew a walk, and plated one run. Leitha, who was a triple shy of the cycle, scored twice and drove in five. Rodrigo Avina was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI while Whetsel was 1-for-2 with a walk, a hit by pitch, two runs, two RBI, and a stolen base.
Like Bein in the first game, Montoya pitched a complete game for the T-Birds. However, unlike Bein, Montoya only had to throw five innigs as the game was called via the mercy rule. While Montoya walked two, he allowed just three hits and one run. He also struck out 10 of the 15 batters he got out.
The sweep kicked NMJC's four game losing streak to the curb and impored the T-Birds record to 16-18 on the season and 11-7 in WJCAC play. The two teams return to action this afternoon with a double-header at Pay Birmingham Field. First pitch is at noon