By Kevin Wilson
Take more pitches, get more wins.
It’s a simple philosophy for the Ram baseball team, and it’s put them in the driver’s seat in District 4-3A.
The Rams scored four times in the seventh, the final an RBI single up the middle by catcher Matt Martinez, to steal a 7-6 victory in the nightcap of their 4-3A doubleheader at Ram Field.
Portales (10-8, 4-0) defeated Ruidoso 5-2 in the opener on the strength of a complete game by Daniel Sanchez.
Ram coach Dusty Nusser saiid the key to the seventh inning was what the Rams did in the first six, by working counts and driving up the pitch count for starter Jesse Tercero. Once he was knocked out of the game, the Rams went to work on the other Ruidoso hurlers.
“We’ve been preaching to the kids we’ve got to get to their bullpen,” Nusser said. “We had some good at-bats, and we got to the bullpens. We’re not afraid to hit with two strikes, and we make sure the kids have that mentality. We feel like if we can get into bullpens, we’ll have a good chance.
“We want to be productive outs. We don’t look at batting average, we look at quality at-bats.”
Martinez’ base knock capped off a 3-for-3 game, in addition to an RBI sacrifice fly in the opener.
Jarret Faust picked up the nightcap win in relief.
In the first game, Portales trailed twice but took control with a four-run fourth inning where it managed just one hit. Four other Rams reached via walk or hit by pitch.
Ruidoso scored its runs in the second and fourth innings, both on base hits by Cade Patterson to score Alex Bates.
Sanchez ran into some trouble in the ninth with the bases loaded and nobody out, but struck out the side to finish with six punchouts against four walks.
“We just had to stay in attack mode,” said Sanchez, who allowed five hits. “We couldn’t get down on ourseles.”
Portales plays a single game Thursday against Texico, with first pitch scheduled for 4:30 p.m.