PNT Staff Report
Junior pitcher Justin Cooper held the Portales Rams hitless through three innings, striking out six as the Goddard Rockets posted seven runs in the first inning, and went on to beat Portales 13-3 Thursday at Roswell’s Joe Bauman Coke Field.
“We came out really flat,” Portales head coach Arturo Ontiveros said. “Every time we step between the lines, the effort has to be there whether you’re playing the Goddard Rockets or the New York Yankees.”
Goddard’s offense complemented Cooper’s pitching brilliance in the first inning, belting hit after hit.
“They just bled us to death,” Ontiveros said. “They were knocking it through holes, they weren’t hitting anything real hard — they got a couple of hits that were pretty legit, but just bleeding it in there on us.”
Goddard followed up their seven-run first inning with three runs in each of the second and third innings to take a 13-0 lead going into the fourth, where Portales stopped the bleeding, and scored three runs of their own in the fifth and final inning.
“I kind of chewed them a little bit in the third and fourth inning and got them going a little bit,” Ontiveros said. “And then we got some hits … and our kids started knocking it around.”
Sophomore Logan Erf charged the Portales fifth inning with two RBI’s while senior Phillip Danbom drove in one run.
Cooper pitched three innings of no-hit, shutout baseball, while Portales junior pitcher Ricky Lovato worked three innings, allowing 10 runs. Sophomore Brandon Adkins pitched the final two innings for the Rams allowing three runs.
“We knew we were going to go in there and probably get beat,” Portales head coach Arturo Ontiveros said. “And (our guys) kind of went in there with that attitude and I think that’s kind of the way the day went.”
The Rams (5-4, 1-1) continue District 4-3A action with a Tuesday doubleheader at NMMI, before traveling to Dexter Thursday.