The Taos Blizzard returned to the Tundra Monday (May 26) to take on Roswell after going 1-3 during a road stint in Ratón and Trinidad.
A three-run home run by Roswell’s Jeff Eubanks helped the Invaders take a 4-0 lead. The Invaders threatened again in the third inning. With a runner on second, Taos center fielder Dominic San Felippo, however, made a leaping catch at the fence to rob Roswell and then doubled off the runner at second, who left too early, to end the inning.
Taos started chipping away at the lead after that.
“We’ve shown a lot of resilience and a lot of fight,” Taos Field Manager Chris Tuttle said. “We might have a slow start, but we always put ourselves in a position to win it.”
San Felippo singled home Alex Fera in the fifth. In the eighth, first baseman Mike Lange hit a home run out in the deepest part of the Tundra. Evan Mansell then brought home Brandon Cooksey with a single and Fera brought home Matt Kaldon, cutting Roswell’s lead to 5-4.
Roswell scored two runs on five walks off the Blizzard’s Evan Kirch in the ninth. Kirch just joined the Blizzard and had a hard time adjusting to the altitude and ended up pitching dizzy before Shane Flynn came in and got Taos out of the inning with three straight strikes. The Blizzard, however, were unable to score any more and lost the first game of the series, 7-4.
“They’re have been a couple of games that we could have pulled out, but sometimes the bounces don’t go your way,” Tuttle said.
At Ratón (May 20), Cooksey and Brad Menadier both hit home runs while Brian Rich had three RBIs for Taos. The Blizzard, however, lost the shootout, 18-9. The next night was another shootout. Cooksey hit his fourth and fifth home runs of the season, but Taos came up just short, 14-13.
After taking on Ratón, Taos split a two-game series with Trinidad. The teams were scheduled to play four games, but two contests were rained out. They won’t be replayed unless a tie-breaker is needed to decide playoff spots.
In the first game at Trinidad (May 23), the Triggers jumped out to a 2-0 lead. An Alex Loftin RBI-double in seventh inning cut the lead to 2-1. Then, in the eighth, Kaldon hit a home run with Menadier and Cooksey on base to put Taos up 4-2. Kirch pitched the ninth to get the save. “He’s our one-inning guy,” Tuttle said. “Everything he throws moves.”
In the second game against Trinidad, Steve Taft homered and drove in 4 RBIs, but Taos lost the game, 12-8.
The Blizzard, however, were hoping to win the last three games in their home-series against Roswell. WEB UPDATE: Roswell won game 2, 25-13 and game 3, 20-5 of the series.
“We’re going to come out swinging and show them who’s house it is,” Tuttle said. “This is our home and we don’t like losing here; I don’t losing at all. It sucks.”
After taking on Roswell tonight (May 29) in the series finale, the Blizzard will travel to Trinidad for a pair of games and then return to Taos for a six-game home stand, June 1 - 6.
The team has also found host families for all of its players who wanted one. “They’re so grateful,” Tuttle said. “Now we can worry about playing baseball and having fun.”
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