Strike Zone-D undone by rough innings

Matt Hollinshead,
Strike Zone-D’s Elias Marquez throws across the field for an out against the Rivercats during Thursday’s game at Ricketts Park.

FARMINGTON — That one rough inning proved to be Strike Zone-D's undoing in the City Tournament.

After surrendering 10 runs in the first inning against the Farmington Fuel on Wednesday, Strike Zone-D gave up five runs in the second inning of tonight’s elimination game against the Rivercats. After losing both games, 14-4 and 9-3, respectively, Strike Zone-D was ousted from the tournament.

“They just need to learn to keep the killer mentality,” Strike Zone-D coach Damion Lovato said. “Good teams, they’ll take advantage of the walks, and they’ll hit (to the) gap. We kind of dug our own holes. I wouldn’t put it past my team to at least run with (those two teams).”

On Wednesday, Strike Zone-D endured too many fielding errors. Tonight, it allowed too many base hits through the gaps.

“It’s really tough on us. It digs us a big hole,” Strike Zone-D shortstop Dionte Yazzie said. “Without those (bad) innings, it would’ve been a close game. It was really hard to contain those (miscues).”

Strike Zone-D's Justin Williams fires a pitch in relief against the Rivercats during Thursday’s game at Ricketts Park.

Strike Zone-D started clawing back with key base hits in the fifth inning tonight, making it 5-3. But the team was unable to prolong such momentum, giving up four additional runs afterward.

Yazzie said Strike Zone-D put itself in a position where it had to scrape out every hit and run possible to make up for the deficit.

On back-to-back nights, that one rough inning was too much for Strike Zone-D to overcome.

“It’s pretty rough to end (the tournament) like that,” Yazzie said. “That’s pretty much (been) our whole season. One inning kills us.”

And that made it even more difficult for the team to end this year’s City Tournament in that manner.

“I believe these guys could’ve been playing (Friday) and the next day,” Lovato said.

Matt Hollinshead covers sports for the Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.