Taos blanks Raton, Tiger hurler makes history


It was Tigers versus Tigers in the consolation championship of the Jim Pierce Memorial Baseball Tournament at St. Michael's (Santa Fe) March 17. The Taos Tigers (4-6) were considered the visiting team, and the Raton Tigers (2-3) were designated the home team, although both were in their dark jerseys for the neutral affair at the 10th Annual event.

It was the final day of the three-day tournament that included a mix of class 3A, 4A, 5A and 6A teams who converged on St. Michael's baseball diamond.

Taos was trying to make it back to the winner's bracket - and the championship - where they had been the previous two years, but were beaten by the Santa Fe High School Demons, 8-3, in the opening round March 15.

The Tigers bounced back by defeating the Pojoaque Valley Elks in the consolation semi-finals, 12-2, March 16. This set up a showdown with Raton, who doubled-up the Española Sundevils, 14-7, in their consolation semifinal game.

Last year, in this same tournament, the Tigers plowed through the competition and challenged the Santa Fe High Demons in the finals, losing 4-3 in a squeaker to the Class 6A heavyweights. In 2016, Taos also made it to the title game and faced off against the host team, St. Michael's, but fell short by a final of 3-2.

Thus, in the three consecutive years the Tigers have attended this particular tournament, Taos has come away with two wins and one loss each time.


Earning the win against Raton, was eighth-grader Jalen Montaño who pitched a no-hitter in the 10-0 shutout. It was only the second outing for Montaño as a varsity starter, but the historic feat by the young hurler cemented his standing in the Tigers' current pitching rotation.

"This would be the first no-hitter I have ever coached," said Taos skipper, Miguel Quintana.

A no-hitter, also warmly regarded as a "no-no" is an extremely rare event that occurs when a pitcher prevents an opposing team from earning a hit during a game. A no-hitter is just a notch below a "perfect" game, in which a pitcher faces all potential batters during a game and allows none to reach first base.

In Montaño's case, he faced 17 batters and allowed two walks (base-on-balls). The youngster also recorded three strikeouts, including the final strikeout of the game to clinch the win.

With the victory, Taos moved to 4-6 overall. The Tigers' next game will be their home opener against the Capital Jaguars today (March 22). The non-conference double-header at Cardenas Field will start at 3 p.m. The game is free, but fans are encouraged to dress warm.