By Leroy Chavez<br />Sports writer
SANTA FE — The Raton Tiger baseball team opened the 2014 season with a win over St. Michael’s on Tuesday (March 11), then traveled to Bloomfield for the Bobcat Tourney over the weekend and added two wins, while losing one.
“It was a good opening week. We traveled to Santa Fe and beat St. Mike’s, then we beat Bloomfield and Gallup, but lost to Grants at the tournament,” said Raton coach Mike Marez.
“Our pitching has been solid and we had a great opportunity to play a lot of people this past week. It’s also great to beat St. Mike’s in anything and last year we went 0-3 in the Bloomfield Tourney.”
Raton downed St. Mike’s 6-1 with starting pitcher Cam Baird. Ethan Washburn and Caleb Wood also seeing action on the mound. Washburn picked up the win.
In the first round of the Bloomfield Tourney against the host school, the Tigers erupted for 12 runs, while holding the Bobcats to a single run. Baird started on the mound and held Bloomfield scoreless to pick up the win. Dylan Query also saw action on the mound.
In the second round, the Tigers lost a tight 4-2 decision to Class AAAA Grants. The Tigers and Pirates were tied 2-2 after six innings, before Grants snatched the win. Wood started on the mound and picked up the loss. Also seeing action on the mound were Martin Ortiz and Dylan Query.
In the final game, the Tigers used three innings to down the Class AAAA Gallup Bengals 19-0. Washburn started on the mound and pitched all three innings to pick up his second win of the week.
“Our pitching staff is looking strong and we have good depth,” said Marez. “We also had four players see action behind the plate. Darrick Stoecker started the first game and we also had Brandon Romero, Dante Mileta and Brandon Luksich see action catching.”
The Tiger defense played strong and also had a perfect game defensively against Gallup in the 19-0 victory.
“We’re always striving for a perfect game and we got close, but we have the whole season to keep getting better,” Marez said. “Offensively our hitting is getting better game by game and we faced a lot of pitchers this past week.”
Marez also said, “we’re happy to be 3-1 right now, but our pre-season schedule is tough. We’ll be ready for the district battles.”
The Tigers will host Rocky Ford on Tuesday (March 18), then will travel to Santa Fe on Thursday (March 27) to compete in the St. Michael’s Invitational on March 27 to 29. The Tigers first-round opponent will be Bloomfield at 1 p.m.
On Tuesday (March 25) the Tigers will be on the road again, this time to compete in the Pueblo Centennial Tournament.