Coyotes fall to Magdalena in regional final

PNT staff

MAGDALENA — Host Magdalena used two big innings to beat Dora 13-4 on Tuesday in the finals of a Class 1A regional tournament.

The tourney was one of two three-team events involving district runnersup to determine the final two spots in next week’s 1A state tournament. The other six berths were filled by district champions.

Dora (7-12) advanced to the finals with a 7-6 victory over Roswell Valley Christian, a team which had swept the Coyotes 10-2 and 23-13 in a doubleheader in Roswell less than two weeks ago.

“You’re never happy when your season ends, but it was definitely a good win for us,” Coyotes coach Ty Thatcher said of the opener. “They showed a lot of heart.”

Tyler Wilhoit threw a complete-game five-hitter in the opener and J.R. Gonzales drove in three runs with a pair of homers. Gonzales’ first homer and an RBI double by Angel Ortiz highlighted a three-run first, and Gonzales smacked a two-run homer as Dora scored three times in the bottom of the third to snap a 3-3 tie.

Wilhoit, who went 3-for-4 and scored twice, then hit a run-scoring single in the sixth to plate Gonzales, who had reached on a third-strike passed ball, for a 7-5 lead. In the seventh, Casey O’Connor hauled in a fly ball to deep left for the final out with the tying run on base.

The Coyotes then took a 3-1 lead on Dan Massey’s two-run double in the top of the third, but the Steers came back for six in the bottom of the inning to knock Gonzales from the box. Magdalena put it out of reach with a five-run fifth.

Gonzales completed a five-hit day by going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored, while Ortiz finished 2-for-3. Magdalena outhit the Coyotes 10-6.

Senior Trowen Vinyard pitched a complete game for the Steers, striking out 12.

“J.R. had a good night,” Thatcher said. “We played good defense, but it’s tough playing a doubleheader against two different teams.

“It definitely was an advantage for them with us having to pitch our No. 2 guy agains their No. 1 guy.”