Rams catcher Josh Boyer delivers a two-run single in the second inning at AHA; he finished with six RBIs for the game. Next season, he’ll be at Colorado School of Mines in Golden. “We’re just loose, having fun out here,” he said after the game. (Herron photo)
(Note: The APS Metro Championship game, halted because of inclement weather on March 20, will resume Thursday at 4 p.m. at Rio Rancho High School, with RRHS leading 12-5 in the top of the fifth inning.)
Rio Rancho opened its District 1-5A slate March 28 with a 24-0 romp at Atrisco Heritage Academy.
After a 1-2-3 first inning, the Rams sent 11 batters to the plate in the second and scored six runs on five hits, highlighted by two-run singles by Josh Boyer and Casen Savage.
The Rams made it 10-0 with four runs on three hits in the third, with Boyer and Savage again adding RBI singles.
As if 10 runs weren’t enough, the Rams scored 10 more in the fourth, when Murphy got almost everyone into the game pinch-hitting for the starters – and almost every one of them got a hit. (Seth Lee was hit by a pitch.)
The inning’s big hit came off the bat of Jordan Sena, who whacked a grand slam.
Unlike softball, where a 15-run lead after three innings can end a game early, baseball needed at least 4 ½ frames, so Boyer got a chance to add to his great day, which he did with a two-run homer, giving him six RBIs.
That topped starting pitcher Kai Fitak (3-0), who was 3 for 4 with four RBIs.
By game’s end, the Rams had 22 hits, to just two for the Jaguars; Ryan Lewis relieved Fitak and retired them in order in the fourth and fifth.
“I am having a lot of fun, just trying to keep it loose,” Boyer said, after his big day.
As for the team’s success – then a 12-game winning streak, “The chemistry, the dynamic. We all trust each other – we all jell. It’s like a family. Everyone can produce, top to bottom.”
Naturally, coach Ron Murphy was happy.
“They feel it,” he said. “Sometimes, when you play basketball, everything goes in. It’s kinda like that in baseball.
“It looks like a watermelon coming in from the mound,” he said. “We had like five subs in a row that got a hit.”
Any chance of complacency?
“I talked to them about that every time,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of things to improve on; we’ve got to work on our defensive game a little better. We made some mistakes against Carlsbad. We made some baserunning mistakes. We try to bring them down everyday until they realize that we still can get better, and we can.
“Our goal is to be the best at the end and we’re working toward that right now.”
Extra innings: The Rams are at Cibola next Tuesday afternoon and home this afternoon for their first meeting of the season with Cleveland. The following week, the Rams are at Volcano Vista Tuesday and home Thursday to face AHA; all of those 1-5A contests start at 4.
… The Rams, then the 2 seed, also won last year’s Metro event, with their championship win over Volcano Vista serving as Murphy’s 600th career win.
… Pitching coach Dave Gomez missed the game at AHA, having been ejected after the Rams beat Carlsbad three days earlier. So he had another assignment: scout the Cibola-Volcano Vista game.
… After their win at AHA, the Rams had scored 65 runs in a four-game stretch, which included their three victories in the Sal Puentes tournament.