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No. 2 Grants finishes off Rams 13-3

May 14—GRANTS — At the end of the day, it just wasn't in the cards for Portales High's baseball team.

The 15th-seeded Rams gave it a great shot in Friday's opener of the best-of-3, Class 4A first-round playoff series, only to see Grants rally late for a 4-3 win.

Saturday's game turned out to be no contest. The Pirates (22-6) jumped on top 4-0 in the first inning, then finished off a 10-run rule win with six in the sixth to oust the Rams 13-3.

"We started off bad and ended bad," Rams coach Arturo Ontiveros said of Saturday's clash. "The middle of the game wasn't that bad."

The Pirates pounded out 16 hits, led by junior Dominick Gonzales with 3-for-3, an RBI and two runs scored. Junior Boudy Melonas added 3-for-4, two doubles, two runs scored and three RBIs, and sophomore Estavan Barela with 3-for-5, a run scored and an RBI.

PHS (12-13) trailed 7-0 going into the sixth, but cut into it with a three-run rally that included an RBI double by senior Noah Swift and a two-run double by sophomore Carson Pfaffenberger. The Rams finished with six hits, including 2-for-3 with a pair of two-baggers for Swift.

"We didn't play real well at all today," Ontiveros said. "It wasn't pretty. I don't know if we had just put it all out there (on Friday) night."

Overall, though, he said the Rams' season contained more positives than negatives.

"We made the playoffs for the first time since 2018," Ontiveros said. "That was a big accomplishment for our kids."

Grants is slated to face seventh-seeded Bernalillo (16-8) in a 6:30 p.m. quarterfinal tilt on Thursday at Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Sports Complex in Albuquerque.

Grants 4, Portales 3 (Friday) — The Rams led all the way from the second until the Pirates scored twice in the bottom of the seventh to pull it out.

PHS carried a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fifth before sophomore left-hander Carson Pfaffenberger was lifted with two on and no outs. Junior Elijah Tellez issued a walk to load the bases, then gave up a couple of run-scoring groundouts.

In the seventh, a walk and a passed ball put the tying run at second before senior Izayah Manzanares hit an RBI double. He then scored when junior Dominick Gonzales drove a single over the outfield.

"Carson pitched a good game," Ontiveros said. "He kept us in the game, but he lost his command in the fifth inning and we had to switch it up.

"We were hoping to come in and steal one and then try to get one on Saturday. We didn't make it any easier on ourselves."

PHS scored on an error in the second, then went up 3-0 in the third when junior Elijah Tellez hit an RBI single and scored on Swift's double.

Each team had six hits. Manzanares was the only player on either side with more than one, going 2-for-4.