Angels earn first win of Connie Mack City League season
FARMINGTON — The Frackers made a big statement this week during Connie Mack City League action, sweeping a pair of games on Wednesday at Ricketts Park and establishing themselves near the top of the standings in the current season.
Meantime, the Shiprock Angels earned their first win of the City League campaign, rolling over their local rival Dodgers on Thursday night.
Here's a recap of action on the diamond this week in City League competition.
Shiprock Angels cruise past Dodgers
Getting off to a fast start on Thursday night at Ricketts Park, the Shiprock Angels picked up their first win of the Connie Mack City League season with a 15-1 win over the Shiprock Dodgers.
The Angels scored eight runs in the bottom half of the first inning, and rarely had to take their bats off their shoulders in the process, being awarded four walks and advancing baserunners while a pair of batters were hit by errant throws from Dodgers starting pitcher Jeremiah Walters.
In addition, there were several wild pitches which also extended the inning by allowing baserunners like LeVon Begay and Gerell Goldtooth to score. The Dodgers pulled Walters off the mound after allowing five runs to cross the plate and recording just one out.
Walters was replaced by Logan Pioche, who promptly gave up a bases-loaded triple to Begay as the Angels sent 12 batters to the plate in the first inning.
Angels starting pitcher Kameron Tsosie earned the win for the Angels, while the Dodgers remain winless during the campaign with a record of 0-4.
In the Thursday nightcap, the 505 Panthers retained their spot atop the standings in the City League with a 9-2 win over the Angels.
Juan Medrano drove in three runs for the Panthers, the first pair coming in the second inning as the team broke open a scoreless tie.
Keenan Bejar scored three runs and Kaden Peace scored twice while earning a combined four hits from seven at-bats.
Pitchers Dax Vigil and Bryant Elliott combined to strike out 12 Angels hitters in six innings of work.
Elliott, who pitched for Piedra Vista's varsity team during the 2021 season and currently attends Bard College in New York, helped the Panthers improve their record this season to 4-1. The record gives the Panthers a half-game lead in the standings over the Frackers entering the third week of the season.
The Panthers will be back in City League action on Wednesday at 6 p.m. when they face the Sting for the first time this season.
Frackers sweep pair of games on Wednesday
The Frackers got dominant performances both on the mound and at the plate in a pair of blowout wins this week in City League action.
In the opening game, the Frackers jumped out quickly with four runs in the second inning, followed by a six-run assault in the third inning on their way to an 11-3 rout over the previously unbeaten 505 Panthers.
Ryan Ray led the offensive assault, going 3-for-4 at the plate while scoring a pair of runs, while Elijah Wyatt and Drew Perez each recorded three RBIs in the five-inning affair.
Maddux Edmonson also had a big day for the Frackers, driving in a pair of runs, frustrating the Panthers to start a two-out rally in the bottom of the third inning with a double that plated Perez.
Edmonson, who played his high school baseball last season at Organ Mountain High in Las Cruces, and before that at Carlsbad High School, is one of several out-of-town players making a difference for the Frackers.
"We have a great representation of talented ball players from across the Four Corners and team chemistry is a major focus for us," said Frackers coach Eli Wyatt. "I believe we're becoming a team more and more each week."
The Frackers win avenges an earlier loss to the Panthers in the opening week of the City League season, evening their series against each other at one game apiece.
On the hill in the opening game were Brandon Arellano and Caeden Jojola, who combined to limit the Panthers to just three runs on seven hits while striking out seven and surrendering only one walk over five innings.
Jojola is a dual-threat player who just wrapped up his senior season at Valley High School as one of the team's leading hitters as well as an effective pitcher.
"Our pitchers had exceptional outings for us," Wyatt said after the sweep. "They consistently pounded the zone and competed well."
In the nightcap, the Frackers wasted little time running past the Shiprock Dodgers by a final of 16-0 in a game that was halted after just 2 1/2 innings.
The Frackers scored eight runs in both the first and second innings, getting big performances at the plate from Ray, Jojola and Caden Wood, who each drove in a pair of runs.
It was Troy King who has the most dominant performance of the game, driving in five runs while also striking out six batters and allowing only two hits in the shortened game.
"I'm very excited and confident about where we are in the race for the Connie Mack World Series," Wyatt said. "We play with a lot of consistency and we're working hard to bring all the pieces together."
The Frackers improved their overall record this season to 4-1 (3-1 in City League action) and will be back on the field in City League competition on Tuesday when they face the Sting at Ricketts Park at 5:30 p.m.
The Tuesday night showdown will be the second meeting of the campaign between the two teams, with the Frackers winning their earlier matchup by a final of 10-2 on June 1.
Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.