Mark Barillas pitches for NMJC during a home game earlier this month. Barillas struck out 10 in 7.1 innings of work Saturday to earn the win as NMJC beat Grayson 8-7 in the Region V Tournament in San Angelo, Texas. NEWS-SUN PHOTO
The New Mexico Junior College baseball team survived a scare Saturday night as the Thunderbirds beat Grayson College 8-7 in the quarterfinals of the NJCAA Region V Tournament. With the win, NMJC advances to the semifinals where the T-Birds will face off against McLennan Community College tonight at 5 p.m.
New Mexico Junior College got on the board first, scoring once in the first and again in the second. Grayson scored its first run in the fourth and took the lead in the fourth with two runs.
The T-Birds didn't trail long though as NMJC scored three times in the sixth to go back in front 5-3. NMJC added three insurance runs in the seventh, and those runs proved to be very important as Grayson scored four times in the top of the eighth, cutting the T-Birds lead to 8-7.
New Mexico Junior College's first run came with two outs in the first when Daniel Hernandez homered to left field. In the second, Adrian Torres led off the inning with a double. After a strike out, Soterio Ramirez doubled, scoring Torres and giving NMJC a 2-0 lead.
Grayson led off the fourth with a home run and then did it again to lead off the fifth. Grayson's other run in the fifth came on a two-out RBI-triple.
When the T-Birds re-took the lead, they got some help from Grayson. NMJC singled and walked to start the inning. After a strike out, they walked again to load the bases. Ramirez retired for the second out. With Joaquin Ballesteros batting, Hernandez scored on a wild pitch. Ballesteros then singled, scoring Zac Vooletich.
In the seventh, Hernandez blasted another homer, this time a two run shot to cap the T-Birds scoring.
Mark Barillas started the game and threw 7.1 innings to get the win. Barillas walked one and scattered seven hits while striking out
10. He allowed six runs, only five of which were earned. Tristan Stivors closed out the game, pitching the final 1.2 innings to get the save. He allowed three hits and one run while striking out four.
With the win, NMJC improves to 40-15 on the season.
Grayson................ 7 NMJC..................... 8
NMJC vs. McLennan
5 p.m. (CDT)