ANTONITO — The warming trend in the valley shone kindly on a double-header between Centennial (1-1) and the host Trojans (1-3) on Tuesday. Centennial took the first contest by a score of 5-2. Antonito would answer in the second game with a 20-6 game that was shortened to 5 innings.
The early spring double-header is recorded as Centennial’s first action of the season. Both teams picked up their first wins in the fray.
Centennial senior Nick Kuhn pitched lights out in early action for the Rams not allowing a run until the fourth inning sitting down batters in the second and third inning in automatic fashion. Trailing 3-0 Antonito’s Josh Duran would get on base with an infield single. Austin Dominguez would put a ball in play and make first base on an error, in the ensuing confusion Duran would find his way home to put the Trojans on the board.
Antonito’s Dominguez and Centennial’s Kuhn would go back to back in the fifth inning to keep the game at 3-1.
Centennial’s Dylan Gandell got things started for the Rams putting a ball in play and taking advantage of errors and advancing himself into scoring position. Following a strikeout on Ryland Serna, Daren Gurule would send a floater into right field. There the ball would remain giving Gandell and Gurule time enough to score and give the Rams a 5-1 advantage heading into the bottom of the fifth.
Antonito’s Zach Velasquez capped scoring for both teams with a 6th inning run to finalize the game at 5-2 giving Centennial their first win of the season.
Game two was defined by troubles on the mound for both clubs. Both defenses struggled to get off the field. Centennial would register a run at the top of the first thanks to Lennie Valdez making it home off a wild pitch. With the Centennial’s most talented pitcher Kuhn nearing his maximum pitch count, Cisco Esquibel took the mound for the Rams in game two.
Two walks put Velasquez and Angel Trujillo on base. Antonito’s Duran sent a resounding triple to right field to score both Velasquez and Trujillo before getting home himself on a wild pitch to make it 3-1 Antonito. Three more Trojan runners would find home in the inning; Austin Dominguez got in on a wild pitch while Josh Lucero and Nathan Sisneros got in on errors to give Antonito a commanding 6-1 lead entering the second inning.
Josh Duran got things started off right for Antonito sitting down three straight Centennial batters to put the Trojans back at bat. The Rams switched things up, electing to go with Ryland Serna on the mound in the second inning. Three straight walks resulted in Trojan runners Duran, Dominguez and Lucero getting home. On Lucero’s scoring run Centennial’s Serna suffered what appeared to be an arm injury. That prompted the return of Kuhn to pitch the rest of his 110 pitches, which he’d hit midway through the bottom of the third.
Centennial would get another run at the top of the third after Esquibel got home on a wild pitch. At the bottom of the inning Antonito continued to pour it on. Senior Velasquez was walked and was batted in by Duran on a single to right center field. Bringing Antonito’s No. 20 to the plate, Dominguez would double to left field scoring Duran and giving the Trojans 11-2 advantage.
At the top of the fourth Antonito’s Duran would hit Kuhn with a pitch nearing his pitch count ceiling, relenting the mound to Velasquez. Gandell would also take one for the team to get on base. A single from Centennial’s Anastasia Salcido scored Kuhn. Gandell and Salcido were forced home on walks, RBI would be credited to Randi Espinoza and Victoria Prince for an 11-6 game.
Antonito continued their rally at the bottom of the fourth. The Trojans would get runners on base thanks to five straight walks at the bottom of the fourth.
Aiden Fletcher would get home on a wild pitch narrowly escaping a pickle, followed by Nathan Sisneros. With Maya Garcia and Shiinei Tallman in scoring position Angel Trujillo would get a ball to parallel the third base line scoring both Garcia and Tallman.
Sisneros continued the batting order with a walk to score Trujillo – and Maya Garcia scored Josh Duran thanks to gaining first base on balls.
It looks as though Antonito may achieve the 15 run mark to end things early in the fourth inning but Garcia got tagged at home for out No. 3 trying to score on a wild pitch with the Trojans leading 20-6.
Zach Velasquez settled into a groove pitching for the Trojans with two straight strike-outs to begin the fifth inning. The final out was a tag out on second base to give the Trojans a Run Rule victory and their first win of the season.
Antonito has a relatively short turnaround as they’ll travel to meet Manzanola on Friday for another double-header. Games are slated for 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Rams are scheduled for a little furlough returning April 14 to host Cripple Creek-Victor. The game is scheduled for a 1 a.m. start.