LAS ANIMAS — Everything seemed to go right for the eighth-ranked Rocky Ford High School baseball team when it faced off against Las Animas Monday at Sonny Smith Field. The Meloneers dominated both games of a doubleheader, winning the first game 10-0 and the second 15-1.
"There were some things that we needed to clean up, but we came out and played decent," said Rocky coach Patrick Hill. "The pitchers threw really well. They kept their pitch counts low and found the zone. So it was a good job on their part and a good job on our hitters' part too."
The first inning was scoreless, but the Meloneers got on the board with a run in the top of the second inning. Cameron Frantz walked, stole second, and took third on an error. Frantz came home on Mario Ruiz's ground out.
Rocky Ford put three more runs on the board in the third. Will Valdez led off with a single and he stole second and third. He was brought home as Greg Garcia was safe on an error in the outfield.
Garcia stole second and Frantz singled to plate Garcia. Frantz stole second again and he went to third on a wild pitch. Frantz came home on Victor Lopez's single.
The Meloneers added four runs in the fourth. Valdez drew a leadoff walk and Santino Mendoza doubled. Greg Garcia singled home Valdez, and Elias Jaramillo doubled to score Mendoza and Garcia. Ruiz's single drove Frantz home to increase the Rocky lead to 8-0.
Rocky Ford scored twice in the top of the fifth. Valdez reached on an error and he stole second and third. Mendoza was hit by a pitch and stole second. Both Valdez and Mendoza scored on an error.
The game ended after five innings on the 10-run rule.
Mendoza went the distance for the Meloneers and he took the win. He allowed no runs and three hits and he also had eight strikeouts and two walks.
Devin Frazier started on the mound for the Trojans and he was the losing pitcher. He surrendered eight runs and seven hits and he struck out one and walked seven. Dylan Hogue finished the game and he allowed two runs and one hit with two strikeouts, no walks, and one hit batter.
Leading the Meloneers offense were Greg Garcia, who went 3-4 with a double and two RBIs.
The Trojans' hits were collected by Justin Miller, Elijah Aragon and Jacob Martinez — all singles.
Rocky Ford took the early lead by scoring four runs in the first. Valdez walked and Mendoza singled. Greg Garcia doubled home both runners to give the Meloneers a 2-0 lead.
Frantz singled to bring home Greg Garcia. Isiah Garcia walked and Ruiz was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Josh Johnson walked to force home Frantz.
The Trojans scored their only run in the bottom of the first. Diego Hernandez walked and stole second. Martinez struck out, but the pitch got past the catcher and Hernandez ended up on third and Martinez on first. Hernandez scored as Las Animas successfully executed the double steal.
The Meloneers put the game away with 10 runs in the second. Jaramillo was safe on an error and Greg Garcia singled. Frantz was hit by a pitch to load the bases and Isiah Garcia singled to plate Jaramillo and Greg Garcia.
Ruiz's single scored Frantz and Lopez reached first base on an error, allowing Isiah Garcia to score. Valdez was also safe on an error and Ruiz scored on the play.
Mendoza's double brought home Lopez and Valdez. Jaramillo singled home Mendoza, Greg Garcia doubled home Jaramillo, and Frantz's single scored Greg Garcia.
The Meloneers scored one more run in the third. Lopez led off with a single and he took second on an error. Johnson walked and Valdez was safe on an error to load the bases. Mendoza also reached on an error and Lopez scored on the play.
Again the game ended on the 10-run rule.
Ruiz also went the distance for Rocky in picking up the win. He gave up one run and one hit and he struck out nine and walked only one batter.
Miller was the losing pitcher and he allowed 15 runs and 11 hits. He also had one strikeout, three walks, and four hit batters. Elijah Aragon pitched in the fourth and he gave up no runs and no hits and he struck out none and walked one. Martinez finished the game and allowed no runs and no hits with no strikeouts and one walk.
Rocky had 11 hits and it was led by Greg Garcia, who went 3-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, Frantz, who went 2-4 with two RBIs and Mendoza, who went 2-5 with a double and three RBIs.
Las Animas' only hit was a single by Hogue in the third.
Rocky Ford (8-3, 6-0 Santa Fe League) will host the 10th-ranked County Line Rivals on Saturday. The first game begins at 10 a.m. at Babcock Park.
"They're always a little scrappy bunch and they're going to come in to play baseball," Hill said. "We have to come out of the gates playing well and continue on through out. Because they're going to battle us."
Las Animas (0-7, 0-4) will host Granada today at 3 p.m. and then it will play at Fowler on Saturday beginning at 10 a.m.
Rocky Ford 10, Las Animas 0
Rocky Ford 013 42 — 10 8 1
Las Animas 000 00 — 0 3 5
Mendoza (W) and I. Garcia. Frazier (L), Hogue (5) and Miller, Frazier (5).
Rocky Ford 15, Las Animas 1
Rocky Ford 4(10)1 00 — 15 11 1
Las Animas 100 00 — 1 1 8
Ruiz (W) and I. Garcia, Valdez (4). Miller (L), Aragon (4), Martinez (5) and Frazier.