EUNICE — If nothing else, the Portales Rams will go into the Class 3A state baseball playoffs with a good taste in their mouths.
Senior left-hander Daniel Sanchez pitched a four-hitter in the opener and junior infielder Grant Wagner belted a game-tying, two-run homer in a seven-run fourth in the nightcap as PHS took a 4-1, 10-8 non-district sweep over Eunice on Thursday night.
Sanchez walked four and struck out five in the opener, while senior Jarret Faust hit a two-run double in the fifth for a 3-0 lead.
The second game turned into a slugfest, highlighted by the Rams’ fourth-inning eruption which wiped out a 3-1 Cardinals lead.
“The first game we had to sacrifice-bunt a couple of times, and hit and run,” PHS coach Dusty Nusser said. “In the second game, we were able to swing it a little bit.
“The most important thing was we kept our strikeouts down and put the ball in play.”
Catcher Matt Martinez broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the fourth inning of the opener. The Cardinals pulled to 3-1 on losing pitcher Max Gladden’s RBI single in the sixth before Sanchez drove in a run with a base hit in the seventh.
“He threw really well,” Nusser said of Sanchez. “And we played pretty good defense behind him.”
Eunice (9-16) took the lead in Game 2 in the bottom of the third, but Wagner’s two-run shot tied it in the fourth. Jacob Salgado added a two-run double later in the inning.
Omar Legarda belted a homer leading off the sixth.
Junior Rey Ornelas went 4 1/3 innings for the win. Faust came into a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the bottom of the seventh and retired both hitters he faced for a save.
Martinez led a 12-hit Rams attack, going 3-for-3.
The Rams, who hope to host a round-of-16, best-of-3 series next weekend, will learn their state tournament fate on Sunday.