By Mickey Winfield: PNT Staff Writer
The Roosevelt County 9- and 10-year-old all-stars lived up to their name Tuesday night at Portales’ Rotary Park in topping the visitors from Clovis American 11-0 in the first round of the New Mexico District 3 Little League tournament.
The Roosevelt County bats were hot throughout the game, as the team posted seven runs in the top of the third inning to take a dominating 8-0 lead.
Pitcher Alex Villanueva confused and confounded the American all-stars big hitters from the mound, to secure the big win.
“I had a lot of confidence,” Alex said. “We were trying to win the game for a lot of people.”
“They played awesome. I’m real happy,” Roosevelt County head coach Sammy Villanueva said. “The kid from American threw a great game, but our kids just got fired up. As a team, we haven’t been doing real well (in practice) and they just stepped up.”
Payton Casey put the Roosevelt County boys on top in the top of the first inning with a solo shot to deep centerfield, followed by a scoreless second inning.
With runners at second and third, Roosevelt County’s Daniel Sanchez ripped a ground ball through the left side of the infield to score Josh Jimenez to make the score 2-0.
A throwing error scored Darren Bonem to give Roosevelt County a 3-0 lead, before Jay Faust got into the hitting frenzy with a run-scoring double to centerfield scoring Sanchez.
Villanueva helped his own cause by blasting a two-run scoring triple into deep left field, to run Roosevelt County’s lead to 6-0.
Casey followed with another shot to deep left field to score Villanueva, and after another throwing error, Roosevelt County led 8-0 heading into the fourth inning.
Villanueva followed up his third-inning triple with a fifth-inning two-run dinger, and the Roosevelt boys added another run to get the win 11-0 over Clovis American.
Roosevelt travels to Clovis Zia Thursday night for the tournament’s second round contest. Zia had a bye into the second round.