Panthers dominate to win Scorpion Invitational

Karl Schneider
Piedra Vista's Orlan Warren pitches against Belen in the final of the Scorpion Invitational Saturday at Ricketts Park in Farmington.

FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista baseball team was a dominant force at the Scorpion Invitational over the weekend, outscoring its opponents 35-4 in its three games, and the Panthers capped the tournament with a 13-4 win over Belen in the final Saturday night at Ricketts Park.

“We gave up four runs, and only two were earned. When you look at it that way, you know your starting pitching went out and threw strike one,” PV head coach Mike McGaha said. “One thing for us, when you jump out early, it puts the opponent in defensive mode and keeps them from being able to bunt doing things that allows them to score.”

The Panthers didn’t waste any time scoring against Belen.

Kyle Dewees and Elijah Gamboa started the inning with singles, then Andrew Caliendo blasted one to the wall in left field to score Dewees and advance Gamboa to third. On the next at-bat, Logan Klunder hit a sacrifice fly to right to bring Gamboa home.

Tyler Mead then doubled to right to score Caliendo and later came around to score on a Colton Foster single to make it 4-0 after the top of the first inning.

Belen scored four in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4, but PV put together a two-out rally in the top of the fifth to retake the lead. After Belen was called for a balk to move the Panther runners to second and third, Sam Moody ripped a double down the third-base line to bring in both of them. In the next at-bat, Foster dropped a single into shallow right field to bring Moody around and make it 7-4.

The Panthers kept rolling in the sixth.

Caliendo drove in a run to make it 8-4, and after Belen intentionally walked Klunder to load the bases and try to set up a double play, Mead drove the ball into left field and emptied the bases after the Belen left fielder misplayed the ball, making it 11-4.

Moody would drive in another run, then scored on an error to make it 13-4 after the top of the sixth.

PV will play Valencia in the first round of its tournament on Thursday at Ricketts Park.

Littleton, Colo., 4, Farmington 2

Farmington's David Saldivar throws to first base during a game against Littleton, Colo., on Saturday at Rickets Park in Farmington.

It was a rough go for the Farmington baseball team during the third-place game of the Scorpion Invitational Saturday afternoon at Ricketts Park.

The Scorps struggled to get on base and had a couple of tough breaks on defense in the early innings, and the result was a 4-2 loss to Littleton, Colo.

“So far, our offense has been absolutely anemic. It seems like we’re up there hoping for something to happen,” Farmington head coach Sean Trotter said. “We have guys capable of doing good things at the plate, but we’re having pitch-selection issues. We swing at bad pitches and don’t swing at good pitches. The pitch selection has got to change.”

Littleton got two runs in the top of the first. The first came on a well-executed hit-and-run that got down the third-base line to score the runner from first.

Then, on the next at-bat, a fly ball into center was lost in the sun and dropped to allow another run to score.

The lost ball was the first of two tough breaks for the Farmington defense that led to a run. In the third, a ground ball to Garrett Farmer at third resulted in the Littleton batter safely reaching third when Farmer’s foot slipped as he planted to make the throw to first.

“What do you do?” Trotter said of the mishaps. “I feel like this club is really good defensively. Obviously, it’s a concern because we lost the game today, but I think defensively we’re fine. They’re pretty dang good.”

Littleton added a run in the third and another in the fourth to open a 4-0 lead.

Farmington finally got some offense going in the bottom of the fifth. Justin Nakai reached first after the throw to first pulled the first baseman off the bag. Gavin Martin then ripped a double into left field to score Nakai.

David Saldivar drove in Martin, dropping a single over Littleton’s second baseman to make it a 4-2 game. But Farmington’s offense stalled in the next two innings to end the game.

The Scorps will next play on Thursday, facing Durango, Colo., in the first round of Piedra Vista’s tournament at Ricketts Park.

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