Rams fall short in series finale against Bulldogs

Apr. 20—ARTESIA — Portales High's baseball team doubled up Artesia in hits on Thursday night 10-5, but it didn't pay off on the scoreboard.

PHS dropped the finale of its opening District 4-4A series with the Bulldogs 3-2 as Artesia completed a three-game sweep.

Artesia (9-11 overall) scored single runs in the first, third and fifth innings and made it stand up after the Rams (9-8) rallied for two in the top of the sixth. Portales had runners at second and third with two out in the seventh, but a strikeout ended it.

Senior right-hander Kaiden Gutierrez threw a complete game for the Rams, walking five and striking out one. Senior Nye Estrada went the district for Artesia, striking out 10.

"Kaiden threw a heck of a game, but we just couldn't give him much run support," Rams coach Arturo Ontiveros said. "We didn't get the hits when we needed them.

"Kaiden was pitching to contact, and they were having a hard time barreling him up."

Gutierrez was also 3-for-4 at the plate with a double while senior Noah Swift added 2-for-3 with a run scored. In the sixth, senior Edel Legarda single home a run and sophomore Carson Pfaffenberger added an RBI double.

Junior Frankie Galindo hit a pair of run-scoring singles for Artesia while sophomore Jack Byers drove in the other run with a sacrifice fly.

PHS returns to action this week with a three-game district series against Roswell Goddard. The teams meet in a 5 p.m. single tilt on Thursday at Ram Field before playing a 5 p.m. twin bill the following day in Roswell.

"We're going to have to do well," Ontiveros said of the upcoming series. "Goddard's pretty good, so we'll see what happens."

Artesia 16-7, Portales 2-4 (Tuesday) — The series opened at Ram Field on Tuesday, with games moved ahead from Friday due to umpire availability. The wins were the first in seven road outings for the Bulldogs this season.

Artesia ran away with the opener, shortened to five innings by the 10-run rule. The Bulldogs scored in every canto, getting four each in the first, third and fifth innings.

Sophomore Daelon Pacheco was 2-for-3 with five RBIs, including a three-run triple in the third, while Byers went 3-for-3 with a home run and three RBI and, junior Jesse Armendariz was 2-for-2 with a double and a triple.

Byers went the distance on the mound, allowing six hits and striking out 13.

"It's just frustrating," Ontiveros said. "We didn't come out ready to play the first game."

Swift finished 2-for-2 with a third-inning RBI single while senior Andru Ontiveros was 2-for-3 and scored twice. Junior Elijah Tellez delivered a run-scoring single in the fifth.

PHS was much more competitive in the second game, erasing an early 4-0 deficit with three runs in the fourth and one in the sixth only to see Artesia tally three times in the seventh. The Bulldogs scored the go-ahead run on an error before sophomore Diego Morales delivered a two-run single.

Pfaffenberger tossed 6 2/3 innings for the Rams, allowing just three hits with five walks and six strikeouts.

"He gave us a chance," Arturo Ontiveros said.

Morales finished 2-for-4 while Byers was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Tellez went 3-for-4 and scored a run for the Rams, while Swift, Pfaffenberger and Legarda each hit an RBI single.