By Ken Hamrick
ORDWAY — The Crowley County High School baseball team took an early lead in its Class 2A District 6 Tournament game with Las Animas last Tuesday at Charger Field and the Chargers rode that momentum to a 9-4 win over the Trojans.
Crowley County opened the scoring with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. Chris Meyer led off by getting on first base on an error. Another error allowed Meyer to take second and he then stole third. Yet another Trojan miscue allowed Meyer to score the first run of the game.
The Chargers continued the inning with Raymundo Suarez and Hayden Carter both drawing walks. Both advanced to third and second via steals, and Suarez came home on Adam Schulz's sacrifice fly. Carter scored on Brett Geringer's triple to increase the lead to 3-0.
The Trojans came back with a run in the top of the second. Joe Hawkins received a base on balls and he took second on a wild pitch. Elijah Aragon got on base on an error sending Hawkins to third, and Aragon stole second and an error on the play allowed Hawkins to score.
Crowley County scored three times in the fourth. Russell Huffsmith walked and Meyer was again safe on an error. Carter singled home Huffsmith, and Cannon Buford then singled home Meyer and Carter for a 6-1 lead.
The Chargers put two more runs on the board in the fifth. Zach Auchterlonie was safe on a fielder's choice and Tanner Howells singled and Huffsmith walked to load the bases. Meyer's sacrifice fly brought Auchterlonie home, and then Suarez reached on an error and Howells came home.
The Trojans scored once in the top of the sixth. Devin Frazier got a leadoff walk, and Justin Miller and Diego Hernandez both received free passes to load the bases. Frazier scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 8-2.
Crowley County answered with a run in its half of the sixth. Geringer got on base on a fielder's choice, Auchterlonie was hit by a pitch and Howells singled to again fill the sacks. Meyer was safe on an error and Geringer scored on the play.
Las Animas attempted a comeback in the top of the seventh as it scored two runs. Jacob Martinez and Frazier both received walks and a wild pitch put Martinez on third. He scored on Steven Salazar's groundout. Frazier came home on a wild pitch for the final run of the game.
Auchterlonie was Crowley County's starting pitcher and he took the win. He gave up one run and three hits and he struck out seven and walked only one. Meyer relieved Auchterlonie in the sixth and he allowed two runs and no hits with three strikeouts and six walks. Brandon Dullard finished the game and he gave up no runs and one hit with no strikeouts and no walks.
Jacob Miller started for Las Animas and he was dealt the loss. He surrendered eight runs and five hits with three strikeouts and six walks. Martinez completed the game and he allowed one run and two hits and he struck out three, walked one and hit one batter.
Leading the Chargers' offense was Howells, who went 3-4, and Buford, who went 2-4 with two RBIs.
Leading the Trojans' offense were Martinez, Miller, Emilio Gonzales and Salazar, each with a single.
Crowley County (9-10) went on to play Swink in the District semifinals on Saturday at Babcock Park in Rocky Ford. The Chargers upset the Lions 7-3 to move on to the championship game against eventual district champion Rocky Ford, losing 12-2.
Las Animas finished the season with three wins and 18 losses.
In the other quarterfinal game, Fowler defeated County Line 16-9 Tuesday in McClave. Fowler (9-11) played Rocky Ford in the semifinals Saturday at at Babcock Park, falling 8-7. County Line's final record was 8-10.
Crowley County 9, Las Animas 4
Las Animas 010 001 2 — 4 4 8
Crowley County 300 321 x — 9 8 2
Miller (L), Martinez (5) and Frazier. Auchterlone (W), C. Meyer (6), Dullard (7) and Schulz.