Piedra Vista junior Tray Franks throws a pitch on Tuesday in the first inning against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park in Farmington.
Piedra Vista junior Tray Franks throws a pitch on Tuesday in the first inning against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park in Farmington. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — The Piedra Vista baseball team moved one step closer to the District 1-4A title on Tuesday.

The Panthers knocked off Kirtland Central 9-2 at Ricketts Park to remain perfect in district play this season.

"We had some bad discipline early in the game and got behind in some counts," PV head coach Mike McGaha said. "Fortunately, we held it together defensively."

The Panthers (16-9, 5-0 District 1-4A) scored in each of the first five innings, using a four-run fifth to put the game out of reach.

Matt Martin did the damage in the inning, hitting a bases-loaded triple.

KCHS (10-14, 1-4) had its chances early in the game to put pressure on PV, but the team was unable to capitalize on scoring opportunities.

Kirtland base runner Keishaun Aspaas is tagged out by Piedra Vista first baseman Logan Klunder on Tuesday in the top of the third inning at Ricketts Park
Kirtland base runner Keishaun Aspaas is tagged out by Piedra Vista first baseman Logan Klunder on Tuesday in the top of the third inning at Ricketts Park in Farmington. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

The Broncos had runners on first and second with no outs in the second inning and then bases loaded in the third with one out, but they failed to score a run either time.

"They executed, and we didn't," KCHS head coach Ron Axworthy said. "We had so many opportunities to put some pressure on them early and just didn't execute."

PV starting pitcher Tray Franks shut down the Broncos after the third inning, allowing just two runs on three hits in five and two-third innings. Franks struck out nine KCHS batters in the win.

Rashaan Sorrelhorse took the loss on the mound for KCHS after allowing seven runs on five hits in four and one-third innings. Sorrelhorse walked eight and struck out two in the loss.

Zach Alhgrim went 2-for-2 with a triple and three RBIs, while Tyler Archuleta was 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs for PV.

The Panthers are all but assured a district title after the victory against the Broncos. The only way Farmington High can pass them is with a 10-run victory on Saturday.

Despite the Panthers' large margin for error, McGaha said his team's focus is solely on beating FHS.

Piedra Vista senior Kody Russell smiles in the dugout on Tuesday after scoring a run against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park in Farmington.
Piedra Vista senior Kody Russell smiles in the dugout on Tuesday after scoring a run against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park in Farmington. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

"We want to win that game. We're not playing to stay close," he said. "I'm very confident that coach Trotter is going to get the most out his guys for that game."

KCHS will close out its district schedule against Aztec on Saturday.

Axworthy believes a victory will give his team a solid chance of making the playoffs.

"We've got to beat Aztec to have a shot," he said. "It would be so huge for our program and the seniors, because they haven't even sniffed (the playoffs)."

Farmington 16, Aztec 4, 5 innings

The Scorpions kept their slim district title hopes alive by blowing out Aztec 16-4 in five innings.

The offense carried FHS in the victory with all nine batters recording a hit.

Piedra Vista base-runner Tyler Mead slides into home base a few seconds too late on Tuesday in the first inning against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park
Piedra Vista base-runner Tyler Mead slides into home base a few seconds too late on Tuesday in the first inning against Kirtland Central at Ricketts Park in Farmington. (Megan Farmer — The Daily Times)

"We came out and had a total team effort," FHS head coach Sean Trotter said.

Beamer Wick and Ethan Spellbring each had three hits in the win, while Lance Lee and Rylan Deyapp both went 2-for-4 at the plate.

Aztec (5-17, 0-5) opened a 2-0 lead after the first inning, but the Scorpions (14-10, 4-1) responded with three runs in the top of the second.

FHS exploded for six runs in the third inning and five more in the fifth to seal the win.

"Things got rolling for us in the second inning, and we just kept rolling from there," Trotter said.

Easton Haskill got the win on the mound after allowing four runs in four innings.

Both teams finish the district schedule on Saturday.

Trotter knows it will be tough for his team to win the district title, but he believes FHS will put up a fight against PV.

"That's a huge hurdle in the quest for a district title," he said of the run differential. "All we can do is play to the best of our abilities."

Joshua Perry covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577 and jperry@daily-times.com. Follow him @jperrysuu on Twitter.