TEXICO — The Texico Wolverines took an early lead this time and maintained it, avenging their only loss of the season.
Jonah Walls hit a two-run double in the first inning and senior left-hander Jarron Hill struck out 14 in a complete-game performance as Texico defeated the Portales Rams 7-3 on Monday night.
Texico (19-1) suffered its only loss at Portales 14-4 on April 17 after jumping out to a three-run lead in the first.
This time, Hill held the Rams (12-12) in check, allowing only four hits and one earned run.
“The Hill kid is a quality pitcher,” Rams coach Dusty Nusser said. “Against a pitcher like that, you’ve got to be able to foul off his (good) pitches to run his pitch count up.”
The Rams were coming off a pair of devastating District 4-3A losses at Ruidoso on Saturday, including one in which they saw a 10-1 lead get away when the Warriors scored 12 times in the fifth.
Nusser said he didn’t think that had much effect on Monday’s game.
“Tonight, I think we just ran into a pretty good pitcher,” he said. “Saturday, there were a few things that led to those losses.”
Texico coach Ty Thatcher said that with Hill on top of his game, getting an early lead was important.
“We had a timely hit out of Jonah Walls early,” he said. “Jarron was pitching well, and I knew we just had to keep tacking on runs.”
The top four hitters in the Wolverines’ batting order combined to go 7-for-14 with six runs scored and four RBIs. John Myers was 3-for-4 with a run-scoring single in the second and an RBI triple in the fifth.
“The top of our order did a good job tonight,” Thatcher said.
Rams center fielder Omar Legarda, who saved a couple of runs with a spectacular catch, also had an RBI triple.
Texico returns to action with a District 3-2A game today at Tucumcari. The next outing for the Rams will be a non-district doubleheader on Thursday at Eunice.