Valencia's growing pains continue at Piedra Vista

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As the Valencia baseball team tries to replace some key seniors off last year's semifinal state tournament team, the growing pains continue.

Just when the Jags got their hitting going, the rest of the Valencia's game waned.

"Our bats came to life during this tournament, so that is good," said coach Carlos Carrasco. "Our defense and our pitching gave in. We have to put all of that together."

The coach is hoping for a better showing when the Jags return home on Tuesday for a double-header against Gadsden. The games were slated to begin after News-Bulletin press time.

Valencia is also slated to face former Los Lunas coach Robert Riggins and the Pojoaque Elks for a double-header on Saturday. The opening contest is scheduled for 11 a.m.

Valencia lost to Bayfield, Colo. ,in the second round, 13-4, after falling, 11-3, to Fruita Monument in the opening round Thursday.

They concluded the tough weekend with a loss to Los Alamos 16-9.

"It was a tough tournament," said Carrasco. "We played well through five innings, it seemed, the whole tournament. The sixth inning would get us and that is just an indication of our experience and how young we are as a team."

Bayfield broke open a close 5-4 game Friday with an eight run sixth inning. Hunter Funkhouser got the win and sophomore Garrett Garcia took the loss for Valencia.

Los Alamos exploded for nine runs in the critical inning to take a 10-run lead.

"The Hilltoppers are a tough team and we were right there with them," said Carrasco. "Again, it was the sixth inning and before we knew it, the score was 15-5. We made a little run, but it was not enough."

Sophomore Jose Galaviz took the loss in relief of Josh Baca.

Carrasco said the team would have a new mantra, starting today.

"From now until district games start, the emphasis is on finishing games hard," said Carrasco.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.