NMMI PHOTO Carlos Ortiz pitches for NMJC Saturday during the Thunderbirds' WJCAC game in Roswell. Ortiz threw a complete game shutout as NMJC won 2-0.
Carlos Ortiz had a big day for the NMJC baseball team Saturday. One day after the Thunderbirds were forced to rely heavily on their bullpen to get a pair of wins, Ortiz threw a complete game shutout as the T-Birds won 2-0 in the first game of a doubleheader. In the second game, the T-Birds battled back from a 5-0 deficit to win 13-7 and complete their first series sweep of the season.
With the sweep, NMJC improves to 27-10 on the season and is now 14-6 in Western Junior College Athletic Conference play. The T-Birds will be back in action Wednesday when they host Midland College in a non-conference game at Ray Birmingham Field. First pitch is set for 2 p.m.
In the opener, Ortiz scattered six hits, all singles, over seven innings of work. He walked two and struck out nine.
Offensively, the T-Birds outhit the Bronco, collecting eight hits, four of which went for extra bases. Jake Dickerson and Joaquin Ballesteros each had a double as one of their two hits. The biggest hit of the game came from Ryan Rijo, in a pinch-hitting role.
With one out in the top of the seventh, Rijo came to the plate with Ballesteros on second and homered to right field on the second pitch. The blast gave NMJC all the runs it would need for the win.
The second game was ugly.
Starting pitcher Brayan Garcia did not make it out of the second inning. Garcia gave up five runs on two hits and two walks in 1.1 innings of work. Cameron Smith came on in relief and pitched the next 2.2 innings. Smith allowed two runs on four hits and three walks.
Tristan Stivors was the next pitcher plucked from the bullpen and he threw the next five innings to get the win. He struck out eight while allowing three hit and two walks without giving up any runs.
New Mexico Military Institute score first. The Broncos had NMJC in a 5-0 hole heading into the top of the fourth. The T-Birds scored twice, but gave the runs right back in the bottom of the frame. Heading into the sixth, NMJC still trailed 7-2. The T-Birds inched closer though, scoring three times. In the top of the seventh, NMJC took its first lead of the game when the T-Birds scored seven runs. The T-Birds scored their final run in the top of the eight.
Of the 16 hits NMJC banged out, four of them came form Colton Buckner. Daniel Hernandez and Ballesteros each had three while Avery Tuck and Soterio Ramirez had two apiece. Buckner homered and doubled while Tuck had two home runs. Ballesteros had four RBI, Buckner had three, and Rody Barker drove in two.