RUIDOSO — Junior Justin Gilchrist earned a first-game pitching victory and homered twice in the second game on Saturday as Portales High’s baseball team opened District 4-3A action with a 16-8, 21-14 sweep of Ruidoso.
With the wind blowing out, the teams combined for 59 runs and 59 hits in the two games, including eight home runs — six by the Rams (10-6). Catcher Tyler Rutherford and Gilchrist hit back-to-back homers in each game.
Portales opened an 8-3 lead in the opener with a five-run second, then Rutherford and Gilchrist made it 10-5 with their homers to start the fifth.
Rutherford also tripled and finished 3-for-5 while Gilchrist, Eric Ornelas, Mario Salazar and Jacob Lopez all chipped in two hits. Gilchrist allowed 12 hits, including a couple of homers, but walked just two and struck out seven in going the distance.
In the second game, four PHS errors helped the Warriors run off to a 7-0 lead after one inning, but the Rams scored in each of their final six turns at bat — including three or more runs in five innings.
Salazar allowed 16 hits over 6 2/3 innings before Sammy Hightower relieved and got the final out with one pitch. Salazar walked one and struck out four.
Portales contributed an error each to three-run innings by Ruidoso in the sixth and seventh, but by that time the Rams had the game pretty much in hand.
Rutherford was 4-for-4 with two walks and five RBIs. He hit a three-run homer in the fourth, an RBI single in the fifth and a run-scoring double in the seventh.
Salazar went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs with a two-run homer and a triple. Gilchrist finished 3-for-5 and also drove in five runs with a solo homer in the fourth, a three-run blast in the sixth and a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Ornelas added 3-for-5 with two singles and a double, while Lopez had a double and a triple in four at-bats.
The Rams return to action on Tuesday at New Mexico Military Institute in a 4 p.m. district twin bill. The Colts split with Lovington in district play on Saturday.
Track — PHS teams participated in Friday’s Wildcat Relays at Lovington, with the boys scoring 26 points and the girls 17.
Tyler Johnson took discus competition for the boys with a throw of 129-6. Meantime, Amador Lujan finished second in the 200 and also qualified for state by running a time of 22.60 seconds.
The 1,600 medley relay team finished second in 3:59.29 with Deonte Wysche, Lujan, Joey Moore and Evan Hinton, while Alonzo Ontiveros was fourth in javelin at 141-4 1/2.
The Rams got sixth-place finishes from Moore, 54.83 in the 400; the 400 relay team of Jason Needham, Lujan, Eric Segovia and Wysche in 45.40, and the 1,600 relay team of Robert Kemp, Needham, Segovia and Moore in 3:51.22.
Top performances for the girls included a second-place finish in the 1,600 by Michaela Alexander in 6:10.43 and a third in shot put from Jordan Roehl at 32-9.
Also, Desiree Peterson ran fifth in the 800 at 2:47.18. The1,600 medley relay team of Samantha Miller, Caroline Knudson, Kandance Bergseiken and Alexander was fourth in 4:56.69, while the 4000 relay team of Katherine and Caroline Knudson, Miller and Bergseiken was fifth in 56.38.