Article Written by: Jason Farmer NEWS-SUN
Photo Taken by: Tony Baker NMTXsports.com
The New Mexico Junior College baseball team continued its dominance over Luna Community College Saturday as the Thunderbirds swept their second straight doubleheader with the rough Riders. The T-Birds hit a combined nine home runs as they won the opener 16-4 and then took the nightcap 27-0.
The T-Birds came out swinging as they scored four runs in the top of the first and added three more in the top of the second to take a quick 7-0 lead. Luna battled back, a little, scoring once in the bottom of the second and plating two more runs in the third to make the score 7-3 in favor of NMJC.
That's how the score stayed, until the fifth. At that point, the T-Birds scored four times in the top of the fifth to take an 11-3 lead. The T-Birds then added five more runs in the top of the fifth to go up 16-3. Luna scored its final run in the bottom of the sixth, but it wasnt enough to keep the game going.
Every NMJC batter had at least one hit, except Larry Leitha. NMJC banged out 15 hits in the game as well as drawing seven walks. The T-birds hit two doubles and three home runs, including a grand slam.
Ryan Rijo was 2-for-3 with a double, a home run, three runs scored, and a pair of RBI. Rijo also drew a pair of walks. Riley Peterson was 2-for-4 with four runs scored and four RBI. Peterson hit a grand slam in the sith inning. Chase Whetsel was 2-for-4 with a home run, three runds, and three RBI. Colton Buckner was 2-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Eddy Vasquez was 2-for-3 with a run scored. Rodrigo Avina out-hit everyone, going 3-for-5 with two runs batted in.
On the mound, Alex Pinedo picked up his second of the year while throwing a complete game for the T-Birds. Pinedo threw 117 pitches. He scattered eight hits and two walks while allowing four runs, though only two were earned thanks to four NMJC errors. Pinedo also struck out eight.
In the nightcap, NMJC scored five times in the first and added two more in the second. The T-Birds then plated eight runs in the top of the third. NMJC added four more runs in the fourth before blowing the game wide open with another eight-spot in the fifth.
The T-Birds batters continued to hammer the Rough Rider pitching as NMJC hit six more homers. NMJC collected 23 hits in the win, 14 of which went for extra bases.
Rijo cruched three home runs, Jesse Cecton and Peterson had one as did Leigtha, who blasted a grand slam. While not involved with game two's home run derby, Whetsel had a pair of triples and Wilberto Negron had a pair of doubles. Gavin Johnson, Adrian Pinedo, and Whetsel also hit a doubles.
Rijo was 4-for-6 with four runs scored, two walks, and six RBI while Vasquez was 4-for-5 with a run. Becton and Whetsel each had three hits. Becton scored four times and had one RBI while Whetsel crossed home plate five times and drove in three. Leitha and Negron each had four RBI while Peterson had three.
Brian Archibald was on the mound and got the win. Archibald allowed three hits and one walk while striking out six. Chris Jefferson pitched the final inning, striking out two of the three batters he faced.
With the sweep, NMJC has now won seven straight, matching the T-Birds improve to 28-19 on the season and 20-8 in WJCAC play. The T-Birds are currently tied with Howard College for third place in the WJCAC and lead Clarendon College and Western Texas College by five games. Clarendon and Western Texas are tied for fifth at 15-13 in WJCAC play.
New Mexico Junior College will be on the road Tuesday for a non-conference game at Howard College before hosting Clarendon College over the weekend for a pair of conference doubleheaders.