Jaguar baseball splits Gadsden doubleheader

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Valencia continued its run through the early part of the baseball schedule that is filled with visits to 5A teams for the Class 4A Jaguars.

On Saturday, Valencia split a pair with Gadsden in Anthony, winning the first game 7-3 before falling in the second, 11-3.

The 1-2 Jaguars, who opened the season last week at 5A power Rio Rancho, face powerful Cleveland on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. before finally facing a 4A foe in Del Norte on Saturday at 10 a.m.

"They are one of the best teams in 5A," said Valencia coach Carlos Carrasco of the visit to Cleveland.

Carrasco was happy with the trip to Gadsden, but not completely satisfied.

"If you would have asked me before we went down there if I would have been excited for a split, I would have said yes," said the Jaguar coach. "We played the first game and still won, and did not play as I expected we would play, (so) I thought we could get two wins."

Robert Carrasco was very good on the mound in the Jaguar win. The Valencia senior struck out seven and only walked two in six innings of work.

"I thought Robert really pitched well for us," said coach Carrasco.

Cade Garcia pitched the seventh inning to secure the win for the Jags.

Valencia broke open a 1-1 tie in the top of the third inning, scoring six runs. Three of the runs came on Gadsden errors. Valencia led 7-1 after the third.

The Panthers added two runs in the bottom of the fourth but never really challenged the Jags the rest of the way.

In the second game, Valencia took a brief 2-0 lead in the top of the first as Cody Koontz drove in two runs.

Gadsden then chased Jag starter Joe Salas from the mound in the second inning. The Panthers scored three in the frame to take a 4-2 lead.

Gadsden added four runs in the fourth to seal the win. The Panthers came up with three more in the sixth inning to account for the 11-3 score.

"All in all, driving down there for three or four hours and getting a split with a 5A team is not too bad," said coach Carrasco.

Koontz went 5-for-8, with 3 runs batted in, and scored once.

"He had a real good showing," said Carrasco. "He continues to hit the ball well."