It’s tough to play four baseball games in two days, and Estancia High School found that out last week.
The day after picking up a doubleheader sweep at home over Class 4A Sandia Prep, the Bears dropped both ends of a twin bill on the road against their district rival Laguna-Acoma—losing the first game 7-4, and falling 10-5 in the nightcap.
The day before the losses at Laguna, the Bears outlasted the visiting Sandia Prep Sundevils 5-4 in the second game after beating them 6-0 in the first game. The first game lasted only five innings due to stormy weather.
“Anytime I can win two from Sandia Prep I’m happy,” Estancia head coach Mark Siedschlag said. “It was nice to beat a good team like that, they’re always tough and they’re very well-coached.”
Estancia’s Devin Cantu started on the mound in the first game. He had a no-hitter going through five innings when the game was delayed because of rain and lightning and eventually called by the umpires.
Cantu had six strikeouts. He also walked three batters—including the first batter he faced.
“It took me a little bit to start feeling it, but once I did, everything came along perfect,” Cantu said. “It felt awesome to throw strikes and shut down Sandia Prep.”
Cantu scored a run in the bottom of the first inning and another during a 3-run third inning that was fueled by Joseph Newsom’s 2-RBI double.
Drayton Oberg and Cantu drove in a pair of runs in the fourth inning to extend Estancia’s lead to 6-0 before the game was called.
After a 30-minute weather delay, the second game got underway with Cruz Moreno pitching for the Bears.
Oberg and Josh Thomas scored in the third inning, Cantu drove in Zeke Tapia in the fourth, and the Bears added 2 more runs in the sixth to give Moreno a 5-1 cushion.
In the top of the seventh, Moreno started to falter a bit and gave up a pair of runs. He then secured two outs, but reached 119 pitches—one pitch shy of the varsity limit in a day—so Siedschlag replaced him with Newsom.
“Cruz pitched a great game but he was done,” Siedschlag said.
When Newsom walked both batters he faced to load the bases, Siedschlag brought in Oberg.
But Oberg walked his first batter, allowing another Sundevil run to score, and suddenly the game became a 5-4 nail-biter.
“I knew I couldn’t walk the next guy,” Oberg said.
And he didn’t.
Oberg fanned the next batter on a called strike three to end the game.
“That was scary, I got a little nervous there,” Moreno said. “I was hoping Drayton would strike out that last kid and I’m glad he did.”
The Bears played at district rival Zuni on Tuesday after The Independent went to print.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]