Niko Alcala slides home safely, giving the Rams a 2-0 lead in the first inning. (Herron photo)
Rio Rancho senior Seth Lee struck out 10 batters, including seven in a row at one stretch, through five innings of work Tuesday and the Rams shut out visiting La Cueva, 7-0.
The Bears (0-1) didn’t manage a hit until their 17th hitter of the game. Gehrig Pineda reached on an error and went to second on a wild pitch; with two down, Evan Lane singled to center, but Casen Savage’s throw to catcher Josh Boyer cut down Pineda by at least 10 feet.
Lane was the last batter Lee (2-0) faced, as Savage worked the final two frames, fanning three and only allowing a harmless double.
In addition to his great throw from center and his two innings on the mound, Savage was 2 for 4 at the plate, with a triple. Vascon Smith, whose two-run double gave the Rams the lead to keep in the first inning, also had two hits.
“I have a lot of respect for that team,” lee said of the Bears, a perennial postseason power. “I trusted my stuff, trusted my team.”
After Smith’s double plated two, the Rams basically put the game away with four more runs in the fifth, aided by three walks. Boyer had a two-run double, giving the Rams a 6-0 lead.
After Niko Alcala reached on an error in the sixth, Kai Fitak drove him in with a sacrifice fly.
The Rams (3-1-2) are home again Thursday at 4 to face Piedra Vista (3-0).