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FARMINGTON — The opening innings have not been particularly kind to the Farmington Frackers pitching staff.

Just ask Riley Owen and Mike Sallee. Both of whom dealt with it head-on.

Owen surrendered five runs in the first inning starting on Thursday. Sallee gave up five runs in the first two innings on Friday.

“You can’t find the zone, and it’s frustrating like no other. It’s hard to get into a groove once we throw a few too many balls,” Owen said. “I’ve got work through that to the point where I can settle down after a few pitches out of the zone, come back and hit pitches in the zone.”

Jitters led to struggles with command. Pitches veered off into spots Owen and Sallee didn’t want.

“I didn’t always hit my spot with where I wanted to go. I definitely wasn’t happy,” Sallee said.

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The early deficits expanded, and the frustrations set in.

The staff found itself in a situation where the bats had to bail them out with late-inning heroics.

But as gratifying as it is, the pitchers don’t want to have to rely on such outcomes.

“We’ll need better starts obviously to get the momentum on our side,” Sallee said. “We scored runs, and that’s not a problem. It’s just (about) being able to score first this time. We’ve been lucky that (the Boulder Collegians) choked the game two days in a row (Thursday and Friday).”

As 2019 progresses, Owen said the staff must dominate from the start so that the lineup won’t feel rushed to make amends for the early innings.

“It’s going to give them a lot more energy to go up and swing freely, get on base,” Owen said.

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

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