BAYARD — Portales senior T.C. Nusser threw a two-hitter, pacing the Ram baseball team to an 11-2 win over Cobre in Saturday’s Class 3A regional game.
With the win, the Rams (17-9) earned their first state tournament berth since 1997. They will play Thursday against the winner of Saturday’s contest between Bloomfield and Raton.
Nusser had seven strikeouts in the win, Portales’ second-straight in an elimination game.
“He got in a couple jams, but pitched himself out of the jams very well,” Ram coach Greg Hill said.
The Rams had 11 hits, including six for extra bases. Todd Mosier led the way with a 3-for-4 day. Ryan Acosta and Nathan Brown each went 2-for-4.
Hill was just as impressed with the team’s defensive effort.
“We played really well defensively,” Hill said. “Ryan made one play up the middle and one going to the hole — both were great plays. The kids played hard, hustled. Tyler Rutherford played great behind the plate.”
Girls tennis advances
ROSWELL — The Portales girls tennis team moved one step closer to defending its state championship Saturday with a 5-0 win over New Mexico Military Institute.
The Lady Rams will head to Albuquerque this week for the state tournament, and will go in with a 19-2 record.
The boys team was eliminated from state competition by NMMI. The Colts posted a 4-1 win over Portales, which advanced via a 5-0 win over Lovington. The Rams finished the season 16-6.
In Friday’s individual competition, Bryan Yeast and Chris Kirchner won the doubles competition, and both Chance Plummer and Nathan Acker earned a berth in singles.
The Portales girls had the top two doubles teams (Hailey Quick and Rachelle Self def. Morgan Erf and Sara Bulls 7-5, 6-3, 4-6 in the title match), with both advancing to state. Bethany Self earned a third-place finish in singles competition, as teammate Kaycee Quick withdrew due to a leg injury.
Track teams take third
LOVINGTON — The Portales High track teams each took third place in Friday’s District 4-3A championship, and will send approximately 25 athletes to this weekend’s Class 3A state tournament.
“We had a big day, a big day,” boys track coach Glen Johnson said. “The kids competed very well and that sure was good to see.”
The boys qualified three relay teams — the 400-meter, 800-meter and medley — and got qualifying efforts from Bo Gabriel in the high jump and Trevor Lyons in the 800 meters.
Amador Lujan, who was part of all three relay teams for Portales, had already qualified in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Dustin Bare will also compete for Portales in the shot.
Individual qualifiers for the Portales girls are Michaela Alexander in the 1,600-meter, Suzanne Cox in the 100 meters, Jordan Roehl in the shot and Amanda Terry in the javelin.
The medley relay team earned a state-qualifying time of 4:44.20, despite a dropped baton on the first handoff.
“That just showed what kind of competitors they are,” Chavez said of the medley relay team, which included Cox, Alexander, Erika Cook and Stacy Hatten.
Softball team falls to Grants
The Lady Ram softball season ended Saturday with an 18-0 loss at Grants. No other information was available at press time.