How happy was Rio Rancho High School baseball coach Ron Murphy with his team’s fifth win of the season Tuesday afternoon, a 6-0 shutout of visiting Manzano (1-2)?

He was so happy that he literally sat around and watched his players take batting practice after the game.

“I was very disappointed in the way we swung the bat today,” he explained, after the Rams managed only five hits.

The Rams (5-1) scored the only run they’d need to win in the first inning.

Ryan Casados reached on an infield single and one out later, Elijah Castañeda tripled to send him home.

The Rams made it 2-0 in the fourth. Seth Lee walked, raced to third on a throwing error by Monarchs pitcher Gabe Casares, and scored on a passed ball.

After Casares swapped places with catcher Josia Chavez for the bottom of the sixth, the Rams sent eight batters to the plate and scored four runs on just two hits.

Castañeda walked and scored on Vascon Smith’s triple. Lee walked and starting pitcher Nick Di Gregorio singled to shortstop, loading the bases.

Kai Fitek was hit by a pitch, earning an RBI and plating pinch-runner Izzy Tafoya to make it 4-0. Lee and Di Gregorio each scored on successive wild pitches from Chavez.

Meanwhile Di Gregorio (1-0) was outstanding on the mound, retiring the first nine batters he faced and the minimum, thanks to a double play in the fourth and back-to-back three-up, three-down frames in the fifth and sixth.

Through his six innings of work, he allowed only two hits, struck out five and permitted only one Monarch runner beyond second base. Josh Gordon gave up a harmless one-out single and struck out two batters in the seventh.

The Rams were 4-1 in their games in El Paso. Read more about this baseball team in the March 6 Observer!!

Nick Di Gregorio was outstanding in his varsity mound debut Tuesday vs. Manzano. (Herron photo)