The Taos Blizzard hit a rough patch, losing six straight games against the Roswell Invaders and the Trinidad Triggers.
Once the Blizzard returned home to The Tundra, however, they started adding to their win column again. The Blizzard beat Trinidad 11-6 on Sunday (June 1) on the strength of three home runs — including two by the league-leader in the category — Brandon Cooksey. Cooksey hit nine dingers in his first 13 games for the Blizzard.
A two-run, opposite-field Cooksey home run gave the Blizzard the lead in first inning. Trinidad, however, hit a three-run shot over the right field fence to take the lead in the third. With Dominic San Felippo on base again in the fifth, Steve Taft hit his fourth home run of the season to give Taos a one-run lead. Trinidad scored one in the sixth to tie and one more in the top of the eighth to take the lead again.
The eighth inning, however, belonged to Taos. Cooksey hit his second home run with San Felippo and Taft on base. Lange then tripled, Mansell doubled, Taft singled again and Taos ended up scoring seven runs in the inning to pull away from the Triggers and win the game. Richie Anderson pitched six innings and left with the game tied at four. Joe Katin then pitched an inning to get the win.
The next night (June 2), Taos almost made it two wins in a row. San Felippo tripled and scored in the first. In the second Evan Mansell hit a single into center field. The ball slid past the outfielder and Mansell rounded the bases and slid into home to put Taos up 2-1. The Blizzard pulled away in the third. San Felippo and Cooksey singled, then Mike Lange hit a 2-RBI double. Alex Loftin followed with an RBI-single and starting pitcher Andrew Bruder helped himself out with a 2-RBI single that put Taos up 8-1.
The big lead didn’t last. Bruder pitched into the seventh, but left with one out and the bases loaded. Matt Garlock relieved him, but the first batter he faced, Johny Bladel, hit a grand slam to pull the Triggers to within three runs, 10-7.
Taos added one to its lead, but with two outs in the top of the ninth Trinidad rallied. A three-run double off Shane Flynn tied the game at 11. Katin came in and got Taos out of the inning, but Trinidad scored three off of him in the 10th to win the game, 14-11. A break in the action when the lights went out in the bottom of the 10th didn’t help Taos out either.
The loss was the first game in a while where Taos didn’t hit at least one home run. On May 27 in a 25-13 loss to Roswell, San Felippo and Cooksey both homered. That game was the definition of a shootout. Taos jumped out to a 4-0 lead. Roswell tied it, then Taos went back up by two. Roswell then took the lead, but Taos tied it at seven in the bottom of the third inning. An eight-run eighth inning, however, helped Roswell pull away.
The next night (May 28), San Felippo and Brad Menadier both hit home runs in a 20-5 loss.
After a 10-5 loss to Trinidad (May 29) in which Taft homered, the Blizzard fell behind 10-1 early against the Triggers (May 30). Mike Lange and Cooksey both hit home runs to help Taos make it a game, but they couldn’t catch the Triggers and ended up losing that contest 14-7.
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