Farmington senior makes baseball debut in lead-off role one day after his basketball season came to an end

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FARMINGTON — Farmington senior Keaton Christy didn't take any time off between the end of the basketball season and his start to the baseball season.

After playing for the Scorpions in the 5A basketball quarterfinals at The Pit in Albuquerque Wednesday afternoon and losing 63-51 to Los Lunas, Christy was back in Farmington and starting at second base and batting lead-off for his team in the first round of the FHS Invitational against Los Lunas Thursday night at Ricketts Park.

Farmington coach Sean Trotter said the Scorps were hoping Christy wouldn't be available for the Thursday night game, wanting him and the basketball team to still be playing in the state tournament. But since the senior was around, Trotter figured they might as well put him on the field.

"We have a senior who has started for us for a couple of years, and he's pretty dang good at it. We certainly wish he wasn't here to play, but he was," Trotter said. "I talked to him (Wednesday) night, and he said he was going to be here and was ready to go, and he went out there and played."

The Scorps cruised past the Tigers 7-2 Thursday.

Trotter said that even Thursday morning, he wasn't sure if he'd have Christy in the starting lineup, considering he hadn't seen live pitching for several months.

Christy said he wasn’t too nervous about getting back on the diamond so quickly after leaving the hardwood, but he admitted he shared Trotter's concerns about how he'd fair at the plate.

"I just tried to have confidence and do the best I could for my team," said Christy, who drew a pair of walks, recorded a stolen base and scored two runs against Los Lunas. "I'm glad I'm back, and I'm ready to go."

Christy played a clean game on defense, corralling a number of ground balls hit his way for force outs without committing an error.

The Scorps didn't just get back a player who can impact the game at the plate and in the field, they also got a needed leader for a young roster.

Christy is one of three seniors on the roster this year, the others being Kody Becenti — who also played basketball and sat out Thursday's game — and Ethan Secrest.

"We haven't had a whole lot of time with those seniors," Trotter said. "Ethan Secrest is the only one who has been here the whole time, and he's done a great job with a young group. Against Cleveland (on Feb. 25), we started four sophomores and a freshman, and it's nice to have those seniors back in the dugout. We just hope they can get back out there in the next few weeks and be ready to go."

Christy said he thinks the leadership of the three seniors this season could go a long way to helping the young team finish 2017 better than last year's squad, which went 12-17 and lost in the first round of the state tournament.

"I think I'm fitting into (the leadership role) well. I've got good bonds with all the guys on the team. I trust them, and they all trust me. I think we can be a good team this year," he said. "Last year, the leadership wasn't as good with some of the seniors, but I think this year will be a whole lot different for us."

Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648. 

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