PNT Staff Report
FLOYD — The Dora Coyotes scored five runs in the top of the eighth Thursday to turn back Floyd 7-3 in a playoff for second place in District 6-1A.
The teams tied at 1-3 behind district champion Elida during the regular season. The six second-place district teams advance to two regionals next week, with the survivors earning the seventh and eighth state tournament berths.
The quarterfinals and semifinals of the state meet are set for May 10-11 at Los Lunas, with the championship game the next day at Isotopes Park in Albuquerque.
Dora (6-9) will face Roswell Valley Christian at noon on Tuesday at Magdalena, with the winner playing the host team for the right to advance to state.
“Both teams played good defense,” Dora coach Ty Thatcher said. “It’s definitely the best Floyd team I’ve seen since I’ve been here, and they deserve credit for that. Coach (Cody) May did an excellent job with them.”
The teams were locked in a 2-2 tie after the regulation seven innings, but Dora broke loose on just two hits, taking advantageof two walks, a hit batsman, a third-strike passed ball and a run-producing passed ball to break the game open.
Ben Massey walked to start the inning and scored on a double by Angel Ortiz. A one-out single by John Carrasco and a walk to J.R. Gonzales loaded the bases with two out, and Dan Massey reached base and Ben Massey scored when a third strike got away and the Bronchos (3-9) failed to make a play on the ball.
Shawn Quick drew a walk and Casey O’Connor was hit by a pitch, forcing in two more runs, and the final tally came on another passed ball.
Tyler Wilhoit went the distance for the pitching victory, allowing eight hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He was backed by three double plays.
“Our middle infield did a great job,” Thatcher said.
Kyle Kroft pitched into the eighth inning for Floyd, giving up five hits and four runs.
The Bronchos scored in the bottom of the first on Kraft’s double, an infield out and Brad Lee’s run-scoring groundout. Dora, held hitless by Kroft until the fourth, tied it when Dan Massey singled, stole second and third and scored on a throwing error.
The Coyotes went in front in the sixth when Gonzales singled and scored on Dan Massey’s double. Floyd came back in the bottom half when Chet Chenault singled and was driven in on a double by Matt Benoit.
Kroft, who went 3-for-4, hit a one-out single in th bottom of the eighth and came home on Benoit’s second double of the game. Wilhoit then retired the next hitter on a fly ball to center.