Farmington High baseball players greet Lance Lee (6) at home plate after Lee hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning against Piedra Vista on
Farmington High baseball players greet Lance Lee (6) at home plate after Lee hit a solo home run in the top of the seventh inning against Piedra Vista on Friday at Ricketts Park. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)
FARMINGTON — After Piedra Vista won the Farmington High Invitational, the Scorpions returned the favor, defeating the Panthers to capture PV's Tri-States Tournament.

Farmington beat Piedra Vista 7-2 on Friday at Ricketts Park to win the tournament in a game that was originally scheduled for March 23 but was delayed by cold weather.

"They're the three-time defending state champs," said FHS head coach Sean Trotter of PV. "They're a great club. We struggled early, but took advantage of a couple mistakes and put the ball in play hard. So it's definitely a good win."

The win snaps a six-game losing streak the Scorps had against PV. FHS last defeated the Panthers more than two years ago, winning 8-6 on April 5, 2011.

PV head coach Mike McGaha thought the Scorps took better advantage of scoring opportunities than the Panthers.

"I don't feel like there were a bunch of errors, and I don't feel like our guys tanked in any way," McGaha said. "It's just the way the game played out. They capitalized, and it was good for them."

The Panthers (11-8) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth after loading the bases with three straight singles to start the inning.

Jeremy Johnson scored the first run when Kody Russell hit into a double play, then Tyler Archuleta singled to drive in Jacy Cave and give the Panthers a 2-0 lead.

PV kept the lead until the sixth inning when Farmington struck for five runs.

Beamer Wick hit an RBI double to score Brandon Padilla for the Scorps' first run.

Lance Lee then tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly to deep center field to drive in Austin Davis.

Senior Brad Betz later reached after being hit by a pitch before Ethan Spellbring drove a triple into the right-center field gap to score Wick and Betz, giving FHS its first lead of the game at 4-2.

"I haven't been hitting the ball that good, and I finally got a fastball up and was able to square it up," Spellbring said of the triple.
Farmington pitcher Matt Huffhines delivers a pitch.
Farmington pitcher Matt Huffhines delivers a pitch. (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)


Spellbring came around to score on an Elias Blackwater single as the Scorps took a 5-2 lead into the seventh.

FHS (9-6) has struggled hitting with runners on base throughout the season and Trotter was happy with the way his team was able to string together hits during the  sixth inning.

"We've been getting them on all year, but we haven't been getting them in, so that was key," Trotter said.

FHS scored twice more in the top of the seventh, including a home run to right field by Lee.

"It was just a fastball up and all my power is that way," Lee said of the home run. "I knew I could hit it that way and just got ahold of it.
Farmington s Ethan Spellbring (1) slides into third base ahead of a throw to Piedra Vista third baseman Dillan Vigil (3).
Farmington s Ethan Spellbring (1) slides into third base ahead of a throw to Piedra Vista third baseman Dillan Vigil (3). (Augusta Liddic/The Daily Times)
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PV's first two hitters reached in the bottom of the seventh, but Matt Huffhines was able to pitch out of the jam and lock up a win.

"I was pretty inaccurate in my first few innings, but was able to settle down and my changeup was working pretty well," said the FHS starting pitcher. "I think that was my key today."

Huffhines pitched a complete game to get the win for FHS, allowing two runs on eight hits in seven innings.

"It's a pretty good win for us," Huffhines said. "They're the top team in the state and it always feels good to beat PV whenever you can."

Gunner Archuleta went five and one-third innings for PV, allowing five runs on five hits to take the loss.

The loss is the sixth straight for the Panthers after dropping the last two games of the Coach Bob Invitational as well as losing games to Carlsbad, Rio Grande and La Cueva.

"I was fearful of this, playing the schedule that we've played," McGaha said. "We've got to finish, and it has to come right there on the mound. We have to find the right mix. Gunner Archuleta was our seventh different starter. We haven't set a rotation and we're not 100-percent healthy on the mound. We've lacked a lot of consistency on the mound. If we can set the rotation and find a way to sneak out a split against Farmington High in district, then we'll be fine going into the state tournament."

Piedra Vista and Farmington both play again Saturday against 3A Sandia Prep.

The Panthers play first at noon while the Scorpions will follow immediately after. Tickets sold will be good for both games.

Joshua Perry can be reached at jperry@daily-times.com;505-564-4648. Follow him on Twitter @jperrysuu.