Panthers take title at PV Invite with 6-3 win

Karl Schneider

FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista baseball team wasn’t perfect, but the Panthers were plenty good enough to knock off Colorado’s Pueblo West 6-3 and win the title at the Piedra Vista Invitational at Ricketts Park.

“I don’t know that there was one thing that I can pinpoint, I just think we competed the way we wanted to compete, even though we didn’t perform like we wanted to,” PV head coach Mike McGaha said. “I like where we’re at right now, and the one thing that I’m very confident about is that this team is going to be a team.”

On the night, the Panthers recorded just two hits, but got a combined 12 free bases with nine walks and three hit batters.

Piedra Vista's Colton Foster checks the runner at first base during a game against Pueblo West, Colo., on Saturday at Ricketts Park.

“It was honestly just a strange game,” PV head coach Mike McGaha said. “The difference was we didn’t hit anybody, I don’t think, and the walks were 33 percent less, which turns out to be the difference in the game.”

PV took a 2-0 lead in the first inning after Kyle Dewees scored after a Pueblo West error, then Tyler Mead drove in a run with a single.

The Cyclones tied the game in the top of the third, then took a 3-2 lead in the fifth.

But the lead didn’t last long with PV getting four runs in the bottom of the fifth.

After the Cyclones walked the bases loaded with one out, Pueblo West made a pitching change, replacing starter Cam Brinkley with Ty Garcia. But Garcia’s first pitch got past the catcher and allowed Dewees to score from third. During the same at-bat, Mead drew a walk to load the bases again, then the Cyclone second baseman couldn’t handle a ground ball from Sam Moody, which scored another run and kept the bases loaded.

Garcia then pegged Colton Foster and walked Fabian Magallanes to bring in the third and fourth runs of the inning.

Piedra Vista's Elijah Gamboa takes off for second base after a Pueblo West, Colo., error on Saturday at Ricketts Park.

Orlan Warren, who entered the game in relief of Foster in the fourth inning, pounded the strike zone the rest of the way to keep Pueblo West quiet.

PV will play Tolleson, Ariz., at the Coach Bob Invitational on Tuesday in Phoenix.

Fruita Monument, Colo., 7, Farmington 5

A rough first inning doomed Farmington in a 7-5 loss to Colorado’s Fruita Monument during the third-place game of the PV Invitational Saturday afternoon at Ricketts Park.

Fruita Monument scored five runs in the top of the first, three of which came with two outs.

After the first inning, Farmington pitcher Keaton Christy settled in and held the Wildcats to one hit over the next three innings.

“He threw 32 pitches in the first inning, and it was his first start after coming back from basketball,” Farmington head coach Sean Trotter said of Christy. “He’s a guy that’s going to be pretty good for us. If you take away the first inning, it was a good day for us.”

Farmington scored one run in the second with an RBI single from Lane Hagstrom, then really got going in the fourth.

Bryce Washburn ripped a two-out double down the third-base line to drive in two runs, then Dominic Hines, in his first game back after suffering a concussion last week, singled to score Washburn and cut Farmington’s deficit to 5-4.

The Wildcats added two more runs in the top of the sixth.

Farmington had opportunities to cut back into the deficit, getting an RBI from Gavin Martin, but every other time the Scorps connected with a pitch, the ball went straight to a Fruita Monument fielder.

“(Ethan) Secrest absolutely demolished a ball right at the right fielder, who was playing in the gap. I mean blistered, it going through the wall, and the kid takes one step and is there (for the catch),” Trotter said.

Farmington will play West Albany, Ore., at the Coach Bob Invitational in Phoenix on Wednesday.

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