JASON FARMER NEWS-SUN
May 26, 2019
Ty Stephenson pitches for NMJC Saturday during the T-Birds 20-12 loss to Chattahoochee Valley. Stephenson didn't make it out of the second inning and took the loss.
GRAND JUNCTION, CO. – The normally reliable Ty Stephenson found out how the other half live Saturday as the New Mexico Junior College baseball team lost to Chattahoochee Valley 20-12 in seven innings.
The 20 runs the T-Birds allowed were the most they had given up all season.
"We didn't execute very well and they are a good hitting team," NMJC skipper Jimmy Durham said. "They don't try to over-swing, they just made contact. They are very good with two strikes and we didn't execute very well on the mound."
Stephenson, the Thunderbirds starting pitcher, took the loss as he didn't make it out of the second inning after giving up eight runs, including a grand slam, to the 16 batters he faced.
"We didn't execute on the mound. We set a horrible tone on the mound," the T-Birds' skipper said. "That is very unlike Ty Stephenson, but that can happen."
The T-Bird hurler wasn't the only NMJC pitcher to have issues though.
Angel DeLaCruz rounds third base and scores during NMJC's six-run third inning. The Thunderbirds lost and will play tonight at 7:30 p.m.
Cade Acrey, who relieved Stephenson, allowed five runs in 3.1 innings of work. He gave up six hits and three walks. Jairo Vasquez took the mound next and he wasn't any better over his one-plus inning of work. Vasquez allowed four runs on four hits and a walk. The T-Birds final pitcher of the night was Tristan Stivors and he faced just six batters before the Pirates got the win via the run rule.
Stivors struck out the first batter he faced, then allowed the next batter to reach on an error he committed. After a fielder's choice, Stivors walked two and then allowed a game-ending triple.
"It wasn't a good night on the mound for us," Durham said. "It was across the board. Everybody we threw out there didn't execute very well."
The T-Birds had plenty of offense, pounding out 13 hits and scoring 12 runs. They hit three home runs, two of them being three-run blasts from Daniel Hernandez. NMJC also left nine runners stranded on the bases, seven of them in scoring position.
"You have to execute up here," NMJC's skipper said. "You have to take advantage of run scoring opportunities and we didn't do that. We should have put up more runs than we did and we didn't do it, and that is what you have to do when you are not pitching well."
New Mexico Junior College scored in just three innings and failed to get a shutout inning after every inning the T-Birds scored in. On the flip side, Chattahoochee Valley scored in six of the seven innings the Pirates batted in.
"We didn't give our offense a chance," Durham said. "That can happen in this place, but if you don't execute, if you don't drive in runs when you have them, it comes back to bite you and that is what happened tonight.
"I think the pitchers need to locate a little better," Hernandez added. "Obviously I need to play a little better at third (base), but I think we swung it well."
Trailing 8-0 after two, the T-Birds scored six in the top of the third. Hernandez got the scoring started with a three-run blast. NMJC's pitching let the Pirates score once in the bottom of the frame.
"I went up there with an empty mind looking for pitches to swing at," Hernandez said. "I swung at the pitches I wanted to."
By the top of the sixth, the T-Birds were down 11-6. They scored once in the inning, getting an RBI single from Adrian Torres. But once again, the Pirates countered, this time getting four runs to put the T-Birds in a 15-7 hole.
The T-Birds scored five times in the top of the seventh. Hernandez had another three-run blast while Adrian Torres capped the NMJC's scoring with a solo shot. However, just like before, the T-Birds gave up five runs in the bottom of the frame, all with two outs, ending the game via the run rule.
"I just ran into it," Hernandez said. "I just threw my hands at the ball and it is a short porch."
With the loss, NMJC falls to 42-16 on the season. The T-Birds are now in the losers bracket and will be back on the diamond tonight at 7:30 p.m. with Mark Barillas getting the start on the mound. The T-Birds will be playing a yet to be determined opponent.