After getting past Laguna-Acoma in the state quarterfinals, Estancia High School’s baseball team’s bid for the state championship stalled in the semifinals.
The fourth-seeded Bears fell to the top-ranked Texico Wolverines 9-1 last Thursday at Cleveland High School.
“We played a very good team that played their best and we couldn’t get the hits,” Estancia’s head coach Mark Siedschlag said.
Estancia had runners on base in every inning but failed to get them home until Matthew Urban drove in Adam Lujan in the bottom of the seventh for the Bears’ lone run.
“We battled the whole game, we just couldn’t get it done,” Siedschlag said.
In the May 11 quarterfinal, the Bears rallied for 2 runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to edge No. 5 Laguna-Acoma, 4-3.
“It wasn’t our best game,” Siedschlag said. “We made our share of mistakes but it was their mistake at the end that gave us the win.”
Trailing 3-2, Drayton Oberg got aboard with a base-on-balls to open the final inning and Urban followed with a base hit.
“All it took was that leadoff walk,” Siedschlag said. “The entire momentum changed right there.”
Laguna’s pitcher then committed a balk—an illegal move with runners on base—and Estancia’s runners moved up 90 feet, putting them in scoring position.
After Gabe Garcia struck out, Stetson Lujan followed with a slow-roller right back to the Laguna pitcher.
The pitcher looked over at Oberg at third base, and then threw to first base for the second out of the inning.
“He looked [Oberg] back but he didn’t make him go back,” Siedschlag said.
Siedschlag seized the opportunity and sent Oberg home from third.
Laguna’s first baseman threw the ball to his catcher in an attempt to get Oberg out at the plate—what could’ve been the game-ending out.
But the throw sailed over the catcher’s outstretched mitt and Oberg slid safely across home plate for the tying run.
As Urban rounded third base he didn’t wait for his coach to tell him to go.
“I just went,” Urban admitted. “I saw the ball get past the catcher and I thought, ‘This is my chance.’”
Lujan pitched six innings, striking out six Laguna batters.
Oberg relieved him in the top of the seventh.
After falling behind 3-0, the Bears got on the board in the bottom of the fifth when Urban’s RBI base hit to center field drove in Oberg.
Zeke Tapia’s two-out RBI triple to the right-field fence drove in Cruz Moreno in the sixth to pull the Bears within a run.