The Taos Blizzard had an interesting week. After one game got rained out and another had to be postponed because Alpine’s lights went out in the seventh inning, the Taos Blizzard had a marathon of a weekend — playing five games in two days.
The team played back-to-back double headers against Alpine (June 15 and 16) while also sending a split squad to Taos to play the league-leading Roswell Invaders Sunday (June 16).
“The show must go on,” Blizzard manager Matt Leahy said after the wild week.
The Alpine Cowboys won both games on Saturday by a single run, 2-1 and 3-2. Leahy said his team battled. The Blizzard bullpen only gave up one run, but Taos was unable to close the gap.
On Sunday, Taos took the first game, 21-13, but Alpine won the fourth game, 16-5. Chris Constantino, who used to pitch in the St. Louis Cardinals organization, hit three home runs on the day, including a grand slam on a full count “He was just absolutely raking it,” Leahy said.
Mike Fasolo also had a big week. Fasolo just joined the Blizzard’s roster and he was quick to make his presence felt. On the mound, he recorded his first pro strikeout and then he hit his first pro home run, a three-run shot that gave Taos the lead against Alpine. In one game, Fasolo played four different positions, basically defining the role of a utility player. “That kid has a bright future,” Leahy said.
While the Blizzard were playing Alpine, a split squad of Taos players tried to end Roswell’s nine-game winning streak on the Taos Tundra, but came up just short, 13-10.
Roswell jumped out to a 4-1 lead, but Taos battled back to take the lead in the third inning. Eric McGee started the rally by homering to deep center. Will Arnold then doubled in a run and Brandon Cruz hit a 2-run home run to put Taos up, 5-4.
Roswell took the lead back with four runs in the sixth, but Taos scored five in the bottom half of the inning, highlighted by a Matt Scruggs 3-run home run, to take the lead right back.
The seventh inning, however, hurt Taos. The Blizzard loaded the bases with no outs, but were unable to score. Roswell, meanwhile, got RBI doubles and triples to go up for good.
With the four losses, Taos slipped back in the league standings. “Our record isn’t indicative of our talent,” Leahy said. “We didn’t build our team to win games, we built our team to move guys up (to other leagues).”
So far, a pair of Blizzard players — Les Moody and Gabe Aguilar — have moved up to play for teams in the American Association Baseball League.
“I’m excited about what the rest of the season holds,” Leahy said. “The second half is very favorable for us.” The Blizzard will get to bat last about 75 percent of the time in the second part.
The Blizzard should also get a boost when they take on the Ratón Osos this week. The Osos entered Tuesday’s game against Taos on a 13-game losing streak.
Lights going up in Tundra
During the June 11 School Board Meeting, the board approved the idea to bid, award and construct baseball lights at the Taos High field. Dan Weston recommended 70 footcandles in the infield and 50 footcandles in the outfield, which would be minor-league-A quality.
“It would be amazing to play in Taos with lights,” Leahy said. “The Taos field is sitting on a gold mine and I think lights are the next step.”
The light would also benefit the community, the board said, by allowing people to be playing ball until 10 or 11 p.m.