RUIDOSO — The Portales Rams rode a strong pitching performance from senior David Rodriguez to a 6-3 victory over Ruidoso on Saturday in the last of three District 4-3A baseball triangulars, clinching the district title.
Earlier, the Rams (20-5, 5-1 district) routed Lovington 14-1. In the middle game. Ruidoso (11-11, 3-3) claimed a 4-1 victory over Lovington (10-15, 1-5).
Rodriguez pitched a five-hitter, striking out nine, and survived his only rough stretch in the sixth inning when the Warriors scored all three of their runs.
"We made it interesting," Rams coach Arturo Ontiveros said of the sixth. "We don't make some plays, the ball gets kicked around.
"When you give good teams extra outs, they're going to make it interesting."
Ontiveros admitted it got a little too close for comfort.
"It does make you nervous, but with David on the mound, I want to say he's undefeated this year," Ontiveros said. "He's done real well for us, and that's why we didn't throw him against Lovington. We knew Ruidoso was playing very well."
Rodriguez also keyed the Rams' 11-hit attack against Ruidoso's Julian Lopez with a double and a triple.
Jesus Acosta threw a complete-game win for the Rams against Lovington. The contest was shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule.
No other particulars were available.
The Rams will find out their fate today and expect a high seed when the NMAA announces pairings for the 16-team Class 3A state tournament.