Five-run fourth lifts Texico into 2A semifinals

CNJ staff

ALBUQUERQUE — Texico didn’t put together much offense on Wednesday, but the Wolverines bunched most of what they got into one inning.

A five-run fourth held up, and junior right-hander Casey Crist fanned Santa Rosa’s Bryan Campos with the bases loaded to end the game as Texico held on for a 5-4 win over the Lions in a Class 2A state quarterfinal game at Eldorado High School.

Crist, who walked five and struck out four, had a no-hitter for 5 1/3 innings and carried a one-hitter into the seventh.

The sixth-seeded Wolverines (11-7), who have won 11 of their last 13 outings, moved into a 7 p.m. semifinal today against second-seeded Lordsburg, which overcame a 12-run deficit to outlast Tucumcari 20-19.

The 2A championship game is set for noon on Friday at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.

Texico lost freshman catcher Seth Bailey on Wednesday to an ankle injury suffered when he hit the first base bag wrong trying to beat out an infield hit. Coach Richard Luscombe said he doesn’t think Bailey will be able to play the rest of the week.

“I was extremely proud of the kids,” Luscombe said. “There were times when they could’ve folded, but they did a great job of making plays.”

Trailing 1-0, Theo Marez led off the Texico fourth with a walk and took third on Jesse Walthers’ double. After a strikeout, Brett Anderson was hit by a pitch and Matt Marez drilled a two-run single to put the Wolverines in front.

Two-out walks to Billy Scott and Warren Faircloth forced home another run, and two more scored on passed balls.

Santa Rosa (18-6) chipped away with single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh. Kevin Maes doubled with one out in the seventh for the Lions, then with two out Ricky Roybal singled and Crist hit the next batter to load the bases.

Jesus Roybal delivered an RBI single before Crist got Campos to end it.

“Casey kind of got himself in some jams, but he did a good job of holding his composure,” Luscombe said. “That was probably the most consistent (game) we’ve played all year, and no doubt we’ll have to do the same thing tomorrrow.”

Walthers, a junior, will take the mound for the Wolverines.

“Hopefully, if he’s on, he’ll do a good job against those guys,” Luscombe said.