After the game, Floyd baseball coach Darwin Chenault had trouble remembering any particular hitting sequence that led to his team’s 7-4 victory over rival Melrose on Wednesday.
But one thing about the game in general stood out: It was a Class 1A state semifinal and the win puts the Broncos in a position to win its first baseball championship.
Floyd will take on Capitan at 1 p.m. today at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque for state bragging rights.
The Broncos jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Melrose eventually trimmed the margin to 4-3. But Floyd got three more in the top of the seventh inning for some insurance and went on to the win.
“We managed to get by. I don’t think they had the best day, but we put the pressure on them,” Chenault said. “Trying to take the extra base, stealing bases — anything just in case there’s a bobble. And sometimes it happened.”
“We made some mental errors in the field,” Melrose coach Drooper Greenwalt said. “That’s the name of the game: Catch the ball and throw it — and we didn’t do it.”
Melrose (16-8) went with sophomore pitcher Brian Hemminger for four innings before having Nick Spatafore come on in relief.
Caleb Martin, meanwhile, went six-and-a-third innings for Floyd (19-6) and his pitching win was saved by Reyes Chavez, who worked the last two outs.
Melrose finished with four hits and Floyd with three.
Chenault said his plan against Capitan in today’s state finale was to have Chavez start for the Broncos.
“He’s our big number two,” Chenault said. “He throws a lot of strikes and lets the defense make plays for him.”
The two teams in the 1A championship have played this season as Floyd beat Capitan 3-2 in an early game on the schedule. The Broncos were in the 1A title game two years ago before falling to Gallup Catholic.
As for the vanquished Buffaloes, which started four eighth-graders, Greenwalt is confident the experience this season will be beneficial down the road for Melrose.
“We’re real young. It helps us,” Greenwalt said. “We’ll be all right. We got a little experience and we’ll be back.”