Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer
The Portales Rams swept the Tucumcari Rattlers Wednesday evening in a doubleheader behind strong, young pitching.
Portales won the first game 6-2 and trampled Tucumcari 13-3 in the second game in Portales. Starting pitcher Ricky Lovato, a Portales junior, picked up the win in the first game.
Ozzie McMullen, a junior, bounced back from a shaky start in the second game to hold the Rattlers to three runs and win the game. McMullen gave up three runs in the first inning off of four hits and two walks.
“We threw strikes,” Dusty Nusser, Portales coach, complimented his team. “We threw some young kids out there and they pitched well. We didn’t hit the ball as well as I would have liked.”
McMullen settled down and did not give up a run the next four innings and racked up eight strikeouts in the process. The Rams won 13-3 with the game only going five runs because of the 10-run rule.
Gabriel Anaya scored the first run for the Rattlers. Matt Garcia’s double drove in Drew White and Andres Apodaca for Tucumcari’s other two runs.
Brandon Adkins and McMullen each scored two runs in the first inning and again in the second inning. Mario Salazar drove Adkins and McMullen in during the second inning, but slipped and fell after rounding second base and was tagged out.
Adkins belted a double deep to left field that slammed off the wall to clear the bases giving the Rams the 13-3 lead.
Apodaca was the losing pitcher for the Rattlers in the second game. Apodaca went two innings, allowing eight runs, five of them earned off of three walks and six hits.
“Our pitching needs a lot of improving,” B.J. Molinas, Tucumcari coach, said. “Gabe Anaya did a good job of pitching in the first game. Our pitchers couldn’t get in a rhythm and our hitting didn’t come through in the second game.”
The Rams will host the Artesia Bulldogs in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon. The first game begins at 1 p.m. The Rattlers will travel to Muleshoe to play two games on Saturday with the first game starting at 1 p.m. MST.