At Volcano Vista Tuesday afternoon — a perfect day to be outside a mere week after temps in the 40s and blustery
Dylan Archuleta grimaces as he delivers a pitch to a Hawk batter. he earned the win in relief, going five solid innings Tuesday. (Herron photo)
winds — No. 1 Rio Rancho scored four runs in the first inning, with three Rams crossing the plate on two wild pitches from Hawks ace Regan Hall and never looked back, their 11-4 victory extending their winning streak to 15 games.
Their second win of the season over the Hawks, who they beat in an APS Metro semifinal game, gave the Rams (17-1-2, 3-0 in 1-5A) undisputed possession of first place in district, with two more
1-5A games this week.
The Hawks chipped back at what had been a 5-0 deficit with two runs in the second off Rams starter Kai Fitak, who was relieved in the third inning by Dylan Archuleta, who entered with runners at first and second and nobody out.
Archuleta (4-0), who went the rest of the way, struck out Hunter Martinez and induced Elijah Gonzales to hit into an inning-ending double play.
Volcano Vista made things interesting with solo tallies in the fourth and fifth, cutting the Rams’ lead to 5-4.
Lobo commit Vascon Smith led off the sixth with a home run off reliever Antonio Martinez to give the Rams an insurance run, and they broke it open in the seventh, sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring five runs off Martinez and lefty Danny Yaksich.
Fitak hit a solo homer and Sean Vigil and Dylan Tinker had RBI singles. Archuleta contributed a sacrifice fly and Niko Alcala walked with the bases loaded to close out the scoring.
Rams coach Ron Murphy was happy with the win, but not entirely satisfied.
“I don’t feel like we played really good today; we played a good team and they exposed some of our mistakes,” he said. “We’ve got to fo a better job of base running.”
The Rams had two of those in the second inning and another in the fourth, which could gave meant two more runs.
“We had a couple bad swings,” he added. “We did enough to survive today.”
The Rams played errorlessly, while the Hawks made two errors, although 10 of the Rams’ runs were earned.
RRHS is home Friday to host Atrisco Heritage Academy — a team it pounded 24-0 at AHA on March 28 — at 4 p.m., then at Cibola Saturday at 11 a.m. to play a game postponed on April 4 because of inclement weather.
Rio Rancho is 10-0 at home this season, and has yet to lose a game in New Mexico — its lone loss was a 7-5 loss to Socorro, Texas, in El Paso on Feb. 25.