Broncs split with Colby in home opener

First baseman Bobby Galindo step on the bag right before the Colby runner for an out in G2. Photo by Rene Aguilar.
First baseman Bobby Galindo step on the bag right before the Colby runner for an out in G2. Photo by Rene Aguilar.

NMMI Sports Press

The end of Game 1 wasn't pretty, with the Institute baseball team gifting visiting Colby Community College a nine-run seventh inning - in an otherwise close affair - allowing the Trojans to take Saturday's first match, 18-2.

But the Broncos turned the tables on the Trojans in Game 2, holding a 4-1 lead late into the nine-inning scheduled nightcap.

"Getting the split was important," said head Bronco baseball coach Chris Cook. "Game one was just a bad baseball game on our part, all the way around. I think we gave them 34 free 90's in that seven-inning game. We've got a lot of work on that end. We need to get the offense rolling, and need to get the defense making routine plays."

Solid pitching by G2 starter Matthew Marquez and closer Zack Gonzales helped stymie the Colby offense, while timely hits by home-grown Michel Hinojos - formerly of the Institute's high school Colt baseball team - brought in some runs for an early lead.

Freshman DH Hinojos was 3 for 4 with 3 RBIs in his debut as a Bronco, while soph teammate Angel Colon was 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored.

"It was great to see Hinojos - a former Colt baseball player - get his first start and do what he's supposed to do, which is swing at fastballs and hit them hard. He's made good adjustments this year, listened and worked hard on his swing - congrats to him on his first collegiate hits and RBIs."

"Zack has thrown really well for us in both of his outings this year, but defensive lapses allowed them to come back in game two," said coach Cook. "If we're only going to score 4 runs in a game, we've got to play perfect defense, make good decisions, and execute. Once we start getting the offense going, we can afford a few more mistakes, and up for them with the bats."

The Trojans would not give up, however, as they cut NMMI's lead to just one with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, then knotted the score 5-5 with another twin-spot in the top of the ninth.

The next six half innings posted zeros, with neither team having much of a chance to score.

In the bottom of the twelfth, NMMI finally broke the tie. Hopes were high after  lead-off batter Bobby Galindo got on after being hit by a pitch. Pinch runner Gabe Torrez came in for Galindo and was quickly awarded second base on a balk. But a failed bunt attempt back to the pitcher's mound saw Torrez cut down at third - one out and Paulo Rodriguez on first. Hinojos then grounded out to first base, but did manage to move Rodriguez to second.

Freshman catcher Cedric Reynaud then hit the game winner, a line-drive single into left, scoring Rodriguez for the extra-inning walk-off.

"It was great to see Reynaud, who's struggled a bit at the plate, get the game-winning hit. He's one of our better hitters and we need to get him going," finished Cook.

The Broncs [2-4] and Trojans [1-1] will be back out tomorrow with a Sunday doubleheader beginning at noon, to complete the four-game weekend series.