Farmington hitters attacking lower half of strike zone

Scorpion offense shines when batters wait for their pitch

Matt Hollinshead,
Farmington's Isaiah Jaramillo makes contact at the plate for a base hit during Tuesday's district baseball game at Kirtland Central. FHS has averaged 10.1 runs scored per game since March 22.

FARMINGTON — Early in the count, batters for the Farmington High School baseball team like to wait for incoming pitches to dip toward the lower half of the strike zone. Attacking that sweet spot, they pound away.

That's been the Scorpions' approach the last few weeks, and it's yielding strong results.

"We've attacked pitches that we were hunting. That's one of things we've talked about, is being aggressive to the fastball. If it's straight and over the plate, let's hit it," coach Sean Trotter said. "We have squared up a lot of balls in the last month. It's been fun to watch. We're seeing the fruits of their labor."

Farmington, which improved to 13-5 (4-0 in District 1-5A) after today's 14-4 win over Aztec, is making solid contact and sending the ball to different spots in the field, averaging 10.1 runs a game since March 22.

"We've been really aggressive at the plate, swinging at a lot of our first pitches. Everybody's seeing the ball very well," first baseman Josh Spellbring said.

Farmington's Vegas Vondra scores a run against Aztec during Thursday's game at Ricketts Park in Farmington.

Trotter said his lineup was initially a bit timid going after those lower-velocity pitches during the first few games of the year, but the Scorpions lately have been more proactive about chasing the ball down low.

FHS hitters at times makes good contact against outside pitches, but the Scorpions usually opt to stand pat in those moments to help reduce groundouts and flyouts.

Whenever Farmington hitters get their pitch, Trotter said they are using more of the barrel and sending the ball to the gaps.

"Everybody's getting base hits, getting extra-base hits. Our whole entire team batting average has gone up," Spellbring said.

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