Split enough to give Rams district title

Freedom Newspapers

RUIDOSO — Portales needed a split to win the District 4-3A title.

After coming up on the short end of a 43-run slugfest in the opener, the Rams rode the steady pitching of senior right-hander Phillip Danbom to a 13-5 win over Ruidoso Friday in the nightcap to wrap up the district title.

Danbom (7-3) scattered nine hits while striking out two and walking two for the Rams, who broke open the game with five runs in the fifth.

“Phillip always gives us a chance to win,” Portales coach Arturo Ontiveros said. “We haven’t scored many runs for him, but tonight gave him some runs and played pretty good defense.”

Portales (17-8, 12-4 district) finished the doubleheader with 42 hits

Danbom, Ricky Lovato, Joe Sandoval and Logan Erf delivered run-scoring singles in the pivotal fifth-inning of the nightcap.

Sandoval finished the game 3-for-5 with three RBI with Danbom and Lovato also collected three hits.

“I was proud of my guys,” Ontiveros said. “We regrouped pretty well.”

In the opener, the teams combined for 43 hits, 10 walks and seven errors before Ruidoso emerged with the 22-21 win.

Portales, which trailed 17-8 after Ruidoso’s 10-run fourth inning, had the bases loaded in the seventh before Brendon Flack induced a pop-up to end the game.
Todd McBroom led Portales’ 22-hit assault, going 4-for-4 with three doubles and six RBI.
Kevin Gonzales and losing pitcher Mario Salazar also had four hits for the Rams.

In addition to the save, Flack went 5-for-6 with a double, triple and four RBI.

“The win was blowing hard, which resulted in some costly errors in the outfield,” Ontiveros said about the opener. “It was one of those games when the innings just went on and on.”