Panthers start strong, roll past Scorps 12-2

Karl Schneider
Farmington's Garrett Farmer makes a diving catch against Piedra Vista on Tuesday at Ricketts Park.

FARMINGTON – The Piedra Vista baseball team started strong and didn’t let up en route to a 12-2 win over crosstown rival Farmington Tuesday evening at Ricketts Park.

"We prepared our rear-ends off to make a run through this district and give ourselves a chance, and we’re going to keep doing that," PV head coach Mike McGaha said.

The Panthers got their offense going right away and had the bases loaded with no outs in the top of the first. Logan Klunder then connected on a pitch and got it past the Farmington third baseman to drive in two runs.

Elijah Gamboa came to the plate next and delivered an RBI single, then Tyler Mead dropped a hit into shallow left-center field to bring in two more runs.

PV kept rolling in the second inning, getting a lead-off home run from sophomore Deylan Pigford, then scored another run on a Klunder RBI to make it 7-0.

"It comes down to walks and hit batters, and even when we did throw the ball over the plate, we missed across the zone," Farmington head coach Sean Trotter said. "Taylor (Nakai) just didn’t have it, and Lane (Hagstrom) came in behind him, and it was the same story. You can’t give up free bases to a club like (PV). They put the ball in play, and you can’t give free bases away."

The Panthers (15-7, 3-0 District 1-5A) added two more in the third with Brandon Gardenhire driving in both runs.
Klunder notched his fourth RBI of the game with a sacrifice fly in the top of the fifth. Then with two on and two outs, Gamboa tripled to deep center bring in two more runs.

Piedra Vista's Logan Klunder gets a hit during a game against Farmington on April 19 at Ricketts Park.

Farmington (7-14, 1-2) had chances to score early in the game, getting runners on the corners in the first inning, then leading off the second with back-to-back singles. But in both instances, the Scorps came up empty with PV pitcher Orlan Warren keeping them off balance.
"We had guys on base in several innings and would shoot ourselves in the foot," Trotter said. "(Warren) did a good job changing speeds, and we'd get out in front (of the pitches). Tip your cap to him. When he was in trouble a couple of times, he did a good job getting out of it."

Farmington pushed two runs across in the fourth after starting the inning with three singles to load the bases.

Gavin Martin came up with an RBI to break the scoreless drought for the Scorps, then Keaton Christy came in for a run after PV tried to pick a Scorps runner off at second base and the ball sailed into the outfield.

Piedra Vista's Andrew Caliendo records a broken-bat single against Farmington on April 19 at Ricketts Park.

PV will play at Aztec (15-5, 3-0) today, then host Gallup (5-17, 0-3) on Thursday for its third game in as many days.Farmington had another chance to score some runs in the fifth, loading the bases for Dominic Martinez. But with two outs, Martinez struck out to end the rally.

"The way we approached this week was, it’s the state tournament week for us," McGaha said of the three straight games. "We need to find a way to get to finish these three games back to back to back. That’s kind of been our approach."

Farmington will also play Gallup on Thursday, making up the game between the two that was postponed on Saturday. The game will be played immediately after the PV game.

Against the Bengals, Trotter said he’s hoping to see the Scorps take a step forward.

"We’re really close," Trotter said. "As bad as the record is, we're really close to being right there with the best teams that I've seen. We just need to go compete."

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