Rams cruise in round-robin finale

After sweating out a pair of wins the previous night, the Portales Rams got to relax and enjoy one on Saturday.

PHS combined nine hits with seven walks, three hit batsmen and six Tucumcari errors to roll to a 16-2 win over the Rattlers in the finale of a four-team, round-robin weekend event at Ram Field. The game was called after 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run rule.

"It was good for our kids," PHS coach Arturo Ontiveros said of the rout. "I was kind of exhausted from last night, so it was good to have a good win like that."

Senior right-hander River Fine drove in four runs with three hits and pitched an abbreviated complete game, allowing three hits and striking out seven. He retired nine of the last 12 Tucumcari hitters, and two of those baserunners came on errors.

"That's as good an outing as he's had," Ontiveros said of Fine. "After the first couple innings, he settled down and threw strikes."

The game was tied 1-1 before Portales sent 10 batters to the plate in a six-run second capped by Fine's two-run double to left-center. He also had an RBI double in the first and a run-scoring single in the Rams' five-run fourth.

Fine, who said he was named after the late actor and activist River Phoenix, is coming off a torn ACL in his left knee sustained during rodeo competition in October. That injury forced him to miss the entire basketball season.

"It feels great," he said of the injury. "I'm just trying to keep it strong.

"I just tried to come out aggressive (at the plate) and hit the ball. I knew I'd pitch good; I just wanted to go in there and go hard at each batter."

The Rams (6-2) opened the round-robin on Friday by nipping Las Vegas Robertson 7-6 and West Las Vegas 9-8, the latter game going an extra inning.

"We got to just kind of relax and play today," Fine said. "Last night was pretty tight."

The Rams have about a half-dozen basketball players making the transition, and Ontiveros said it's coming along well. One of them, sophomore catcher Matt Martinez, knocked in three runs with a single and a fielder's choice and also had a first-inning double against the Rattlers (2-8).

"We're starting to kind of come together," Ontiveros said. "Matt Martinez and Daniel Sanchez (who homered on Friday night) are starting to hit the ball well."

PORTALES ROUND-ROBIN

Team standings: 1. Portales 3-0; 2. LV Robertson 2-1; 3. Tucumcari 1-2; 4. West Las Vegas 0-3.

Friday's results

Robertson 11, Tucumcari 0; Portales 7, West Las Vegas 6; Portales 9, West Las Vegas 8, 8 innings.

Saturday's results

Robertson 4, West Las Vegas 2; Tucumcari 5, West Las Vegas 4; Portales 16, Tucumcari 2.

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