NMMI Sports Press
The New Mexico Military Institute Bronco baseball team won their first game of the season in grand fashion, taking down the visiting Otero Junior College Rattlers 4-3 in extended play.
With no outs in the bottom of the ninth in a game originally scheduled for seven innings, veteran sophomore catch Cedric Reynaud took a 2-0 pitch deep to centerfield, doubling in freshman Dylan DiLorenzo from second base for the winning run. DiLorenzo started the inning with a pinch-hit single up the middle. He then advanced to second after an Otero throwing error on a pick-off play.
The Rattlers scored the first runs in the contest, going up 2-0 in the top of the second with a pair of walks, a double and a single.
NMMI tied it up in the bottom of the fourth. Lead-off batter Johnnie Nemecek got a Texas-league single to shallow left-center. Julian Galindo followed with a single to left. After a fly out, both runners advanced a base on a wild pitch. Miguel Soto got NMMI's first RBI of 2019 with a ground out to third, and Henry Paulino singled past third to drive in another run.
And 2-2 is where the score stayed until extra innings, Otero breaking up the tie with a single spot in the top of the eighth. The Rattlers had a chance to win it after Soto hit a ground ball to shortstop with two outs and one on, but a throwing error saw him safe and also allowed Nemecek, who had stolen second base after a walk to start the inning, to score. NMMI was unable to plate another run, and the game proceeded, tied at 3s, to the ninth.
Jadon Archuleta came in for relief and sat OJC down in order in the top half of the stanza, before the bats of DiLorenzo and Reynaud combined for aforementioned winning run.
NMMI collected eight hit in the home opener, scattered through eight Bronco players. Paulino had the Broncos' only other RBI.
Three pitchers took the mound for NMMI. Starter Adrian Arpero threw four complete with six Ks, three walks, three hits and two runs, both earned. David Chavez also went four as first relief, allowing just one earned run while striking-out seven. Archuleta's single-inning, minimum-batters-faced performance earned the win – he had one strikeout.
In game two, OJC started the scoring with a two run home run to go up 2-0 in the first inning.
NMMI answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a run of their own. Nemecek reached base on a single, stole second, and advanced on a wild pitch to go to third. Gabriel Perez Torres would score Nemecek on a single to bring back NMMI within one.
OJC scored two runs in the top of the second, and another in the fourth to widen their lead, 5-1.
The Broncos' final two runs of the ballgame came in the bottom of the fourth. Perez Torres reached on a single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch, then scored on a double down the left field line by Blaze Tenorio. Tenorio also advanced to third on a wild pitch before scoring on a throwing error by the Rattler catcher
NMMI had just one hit in the final three innings, unable to plate the runs to force a tie and get the shot at the walk-off heroics of the season opener.
The Broncos used two pitcher in Game 2. NMMI starter Tyler Hardwick threw four innings collecting two strikeouts and surrendering five hits. Jose Cabanillas did not allow a single hit in his three innings of relief, striking out four Rattlers during that span.
"Their starters kept us off balance during both games," said Head Bronco baseball coach Chris Cook. "We were not aggressive in certain situations at the plate to capitalize when we needed too. We pitched great today just a couple of mistakes in Game 2 that they took advantage of and that was the difference."
The Broncos will finish the series against Otero Junior College tomorrow with a double header starting at 12:00 PM at the NMMI Ballpark.