Scorpions sting Jags in weekend doubleheader

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By the time Valencia opened its doors in 2006, Farmington was already a long-established baseball powerhouse in the state.

The Scorpions had 11 state titles to their credit and they would add two more in 2007 and 2008.

So while no one likes to play non-district games after district play starts, Jaguars coach Carlos Carrasco was willing to take on Farmington in a doubleheader this past Saturday to see where his team measured up to a state powerhouse.

The result was a two-game sweep by the Scorpions, 11-3 and 7-5.

“That’s all we’re trying to do (is compete),” Carrasco said. “We knew Farmington is a really good, tough team. The first game wasn’t very good and we wanted to improve in the second game. We did.

“We had that (fourth) inning where we gave them too many free ones, too many walks. Then, a team like that you give them runners in scoring position they’re going to clutch up and drive in some runs.”

The fourth inning Carrasco mentioned was indeed decisive as Farmington (9-8) scored six runs. The Scorpions did their damage with just two hits, taking advantage of three walks, a hit-by-pitch, two errors and a sacrifice fly.

Austin Davis drew a leadoff walk and stole second base. Beamer Wick then hit a flyball to left field that hit off the glove of Cade Guthrie for a two-base error.

Tyler Klein then hit Colby Nelson and walked Brad Betz to load the bases. An error by shortstop Anthony Gonzales followed, scoring Wick and keeping the bases loaded.

Landon Nelson hit a sacrifice fly to make it 4-1. Roken Cotie then drew a walk to reload the bases until Klein uncorked a wild pitch that advanced every runner on base.

Matthew Huffines and Brandon Padilla followed with back-to-back RBI singles to push the lead to 7-1.

The Jaguars (5-11) did not simply roll over and give up at this point, however. Ryan Garcia had an RBI triple and then scored on Damian Padilla’s single to right in the bottom of the frame.

Valencia tacked on two more runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Gonzales and a run-scoring error by first baseman Nelson.

That would be as close as the Jaguars would get, though, as Davis retired the side in order in the sixth and Wick came on to close it out in the seventh.

Klein drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Garret Garcia and Carlos Ramirez both struck out swinging and Gonzales grounded out to second base to end the game.

“What we ended up doing from the first game to the second game was almost flop (the batting order),” Carrasco said. “It ended up being what looks like a better lineup. We got more hits and we actually scored more runs.

“We’re in that stage where we’re trying to figure out our lineup, our lineup hasn’t been consistent. So we keep flipping guys up and down the lineup so we can find one that generates runs. I know it was just five runs, but the way our season’s been that’s actually pretty good. The first game we’re not there, but the second game we’re kind of there.”

Still, as Carrasco said, it was a significant improvement over the first game.

The decisive blow in that game came in the third inning with Farmington already leading 1-0. Two walks sandwiched around a double by Nelson loaded the bases for Betz, who launched a grand slam to left-center.

The Scorpions would add two more runs in the fifth before the Jaguars even mustered up any offense. Gonzales had an RBI single and Garret Garcia added an RBI double in the bottom of the frame.

Brice Proctor’s RBI groundout in the seventh was the only other run-scoring play for Valencia.

The Jaguars resumed district play Tuesday at Gallup. Their next home game is at 1 p.m., Saturday, April 13, against Miyamura.