ROCKY FORD — The eighth-ranked Rocky Ford High School baseball team didn't look good at times when it hosted the 10th-ranked County Line Rivals Saturday at Babcock Park. However, the Meloneers were able to overcome adversity and they swept the Rivals by scores of 8-7 and 8-5.
"We got a couple of W's," said Rocky coach Patrick Hill. "We started the day out kind of sluggish, but we started to come around late in that first game and then rolled it on into the second. We played pretty well."
County Line took the early lead in the opener by scoring a run in the top of the first inning. Cal Garcia was safe on an error and he then stole second and third. Garcia came on on Haleigh Prosser's single and the Rivals led 1-0.
County Line put three more runs on the board in the second. Ken Cox led off by reaching on an error, and Garcia drew a walk. Both runners scored on Carl McKenzie's triple, and McKenzie scored on Quade Malone's single for a 4-0 lead.
The Meloneers got on the board by scoring three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Elias Jaramillo led off the inning by getting on base via an error. Cameron Frantz singled to put runners at the corners, and Jaramillo scored on Victor Lopez's single.
Josh Johnson and Isiah Garcia both walked to load the bases, and Frantz came home on a wild pitch. Will Valdez was safe on a fielder's choice and Lopez scored on the play.
County Line responded by scoring three times in the top of the sixth. Lucas Salazar singled and Colin Lindo was safe on an error. Blake Wilson singled to load the bases, and Garcia's single plaed Salazar and Lindo.
Wilson scored on the double steal to increase the Rivals' lead to 7-3.
Rocky scored three runs in it half of the sixth. Jaramillo led off with an infield single and he went to third on Mario Ruiz's single. Ruiz went to second on the throw to the infield and the Meloneers had two runners in scoring position.
Frantz singled to bring home Jaramillo and Ruiz. Frantz then stole second, took third on a passed ball, and scored on a wild pitch to bring the Meloneers within 7-6.
Rocky Ford scored twice in the seventh. Santino Mendoza singled and Greg Garcia also had a base hit. Mendoza, however, was out on a base running mistake, but Garcia went to second on the play.
Garcia took third on another passed ball and he scored the tying run as Ruiz reached on an error. Ruiz took second and third on passed balls, and he scored the winning run as Frantz also got on base on an error.
Ruiz was Rocky's starting pitcher, but he did not figure in the decision. He allowed six runs and five hits and he struck out nine and walked only one batter. Greg Garcia finished the game and he was the winning pitcher. He gave up one run and three hits and he had one strikeout and one walk.
McKenzie started on the mound for County Line and he was not a part of the decision. He surrendered six runs and five hits and he struck out four, walked two, and hit one batter. Cal Garcia ended the game and he took the loss. He allowed two runs and two hits and he had two strikeouts and one walk.
The Meloneers had seven hits and they were led by Frantz, who went 2-4 with two RBIs.
The Rivals collected eight hits. Salazar went 2-3 and McKenzie went 2-4 with a triple and two RBIs.
The Meloneers took the early lead in the night cap by scoring three times in the first. Valdez led off with an infield single and Jaramillo singled to put Valdez on third. Frantz singled home Valdez amd after Isiah Garcia walked, Ruiz singled home Jaramillo and Frantz for a 3-0 Rocky lead.
The Rivals tied the score in the top of the third. Cox started the inning by reaching first base on an error. Garcia was hit by a pitch, and McKenzie doubled home Cox and Garcia. McKenzie took third on an error and he scored on Malone's groundout.
Rocky Ford regained the lead with a run in its half of the third. Isiah Garcia was safe on an error and he went to second on a balk. Ruiz singled to score Johnson, who was courtesy-running for Garcia.
The Meloneers put two more runs on the board in the fifth. Jaramillo led off with a single and he stole second. Isiah Garcia singled to score Jaramillo, and after Garcia stole second, he score on an error to increase the Rocky lead to 6-3.
Rocky Ford scored a pair of insurance runs in the sixth. Mendoza led off with a single and he went to second on a balk. Frantz reached on an error and Mendoza scored on the play.
Isiah Garcia walked and Ruiz also got on base on an error. Frantz scored on a passed ball for an 8-3 lead.
The Rivals attempted a comeback in the seventh. Prosser was safe on a fielder's choice and Salazar drew a walk. Lindo reached on an outfield error to score Skylar Phillips, who was pinch-running for Prosser, and Ralphie Enciso, who was picnh-running for Salazar.
County Line, however, stranded a runner on base as the game came to an end.
Mendoza started for Rocky Ford and he was the winning pitcher. He gave up five runs and six hits and he had eight strikeouts, four walks, and one hit batter. Greg Garcia again finished the game and this time he earned the save. He retired the only batter he faced.
Cal Garcia was County Line's starting pitcher, but did not figure in the decision. He allowed three runs and five hits and he struck out two and walked none. Shawn Bundy was the losing pitcher and he surrendered five runs and five hits with one strikeout and two walks.
The Meloneers had 10 hits and they were led by Jaramillo, who went 2-4, Ruiz, who went 2-4 with one RBI and Valdez, who went 2-4.
The Rivals tallied six hits with McKenzie going 2-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Rocky Ford (10-3, 8-0 Santa Fe League) will travel to Trinidad for a nonleague game on Tuesday.
"We don't know much about them, but we have to go out and play," Hill said. "We have to play good baseball and clean some things up and go get a W down there.
Game time is at 4 p.m. at Central Park.
County Line (5-6, 3-3) will play John Mall in Walsenburg on Tuesday. The first game begins at 3 p.m.
Rocky Ford 8, County Line 7
County Line 130 003 0 — 7 8 3
Rocky Ford 000 033 2 — 8 7 3
McKenzie, Garcia (6, L) and Garcia, Malone (6). Ruiz, G. Garcia (6, W) and I. Garcia.
Rocky Ford 8, County Line 5
County Line 003 000 2 — 5 6 4
Rocky Ford 301 022 x — 8 10 4
Garcia, Bunday (3, L) and Malone, Garcia (3). Mendoza (W), G. Garcia (7, S) and I. Garcia.