Article Written by: Jason Farmer NEWS-SUN
Photo Taken by: Tony Baker NMTXsports.com
The New Mexico Junior college baseball team opened up its fourt game home series against Frank Phillips College with a pair of wins Friday afternoon as the Thunderbirds beat Plainsmen 11-1 in the first game of a doubleheader and then won 13-2 in the nightcap.
"We executed on the mound and at the plate," New Mexico Junior College skipper Jimmy Durham said. "They did what they were supposed to do. they were very aggressive and it showed with the hits and runs they put up."
The T-Birds collected 26 hits in the sweep. Of the combined hits, 14 went for extra bases and eight went over the fence for a home run. The T-Birds also scored in every inning of each game.
"It is always nice to hit a home run, as long as your approach is right," Durham said. "Home runs are not something that you try to do, it is just something that happens as a result of a good swing."
In the opener, the T-Birds plated two runs in the first and second one in the third, two more in the fourth and four in the fifth. Frank Phillips College got its lone run in the top of the fifth.
Dylan Bein started the game for the T-Birds and went the distance. the NMJC hurler allowed three hits and one walk over five innings of work. He struck out nine while allowing just the one run. Bein struck out every Frank Phillips College batter at least once, except for the No. 9 hitter, Gerry Guel.
"He pitched well," Durham said. "He did well. He always keeps us in the game."
Bein walked the game's leadoff batter who stole second base, but was left stranded when Bein retired the next three Plainsmen. Frank Phillips got its first hit in the top of the third, a one-out single off the left field wall from Guel. In the fifth, Bein allowed a double and an RBI single to Guel for Frank Phillips College's run.
"He made a mistake- they didn't score in the (third) inning, but he made a mistake to their hitter that got their first hit," Durham said. "He threw a breaking ball on an 0-2 count that he hung. They were hitless up to that point. I thnk he probably would have had a chance for a no hitter if he would have gotten that guy out. I think that if he would have known going into that inning where he had trouble, I don't know that they would have got a hit."
The T-Birds came out swinging the lumber as the NMJC hitters accounted for 16 hits. Every t-Bird had at least one hit, except for a second baseman Wilberto Negron. However, Negron drew a first inning walk, so every T-Bird hitter did reach base safely at least once.
Riley Peterson, Colton Bucknerr and Eddy Vasquez all had three hits for the T-Birds. Peterson was 3 for 4, coming up a triple shy oof the cycle. The T-Birds leadoff hitter belted a two-run homer in the second and drove in two more with a double in the fifth. He also scored three runs for NMJC.
Vasquez was 3-for-3 with two doubles, two runs scored,a nd an RBI. Chase Wetsel was 2for 4 with a double while Jake Dickerson was 2-for-3 with a double, a two-run homer and tw RBI. Larry Leitha scored twice for NMJC. Gavin Johnson was 1-for-3, but hit a solo shot and scored twice.
"Eddy (Vasquez) swang it good today in the in the first game," Durham said. "He really did."
in the nightcap, NMJC trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the first. The T-Birds scored once,but added three runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-2 lead. NMJC scored three more runs in the third , added on in the fourth, and securedthe win with a five-spot in the fifth.
New Mexico Junior College collected 10 hits in the second game, five of which were home runs. Whetsel hit a pair of homers while Leitha Dickerson, and uckenr each hit one.
Whetsel was 3-for-4 with a solo homer and a two-run blast. Whetsel scored three runs and drove in four. Leitha was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and a solo home run while Dickerson was 1-for-2, scoring twice and belting a solo homer. Buckner went 1-for-4 with a run scored and a two-run homer. Buckener's homer came in the bottom of the fifth with Rijo on base. The blast gave NMJC a lead of 11 runs and automatically ended the game via the mercy rule.
On the mound, Anthony Montoya got the win, pitching the five inning complete game. Montoya threw 87 pitches while allowing five hits and three walks. He also struck out six. Both runs that scored off of Montoya weere earned.
With the sweep, NMJC has won seven straight. The T-Birds improve to 21-18 overall while moving to 15-7 in WJCAC play. the T-Birds will be back on their diamond this afternoon for another doubleheader i the conclusion of NMJC's four game series with Frank Phillips College. First pitch is set for noon.