By Greg Perkins
The Roadrunners opened the baseball season under first year coach Brady Pond at the Fountain Hills Invitational tournament last weekend, where they posted a 1-4 record. The tournament was originally scheduled to begin on Thursday, but due to inclement weather, it was postponed until Friday and Saturday. With the late schedule change the Holbrook team, which was already on its way, decided to face Fountain Hills in a doubleheader prior to the tournament’s actual beginning.
In the first matchup Holbrook fell to the Falcons 9-1. Ray Searles went one for three, picking up the only RBI. Lanny Newton-Pender was one for two and Shawn Gillespie scored the only run. Holbrook finished with four errors and left 10 on base.
Carlos Quintana worked three innings on the mound, giving up five runs, only three earned, on five hits with a pair of walks. Searles pitched two innings, allowing four runs, all earned, on three hits with two walks.
In their second meeting with Fountain Hills the Roadrunners were held to just one hit in a 5-0 shutout. Jacob Baker was the lone Bird to collect a hit, going one for three. Devin Nez worked five innings, giving up five runs, three earned, on five hits with three walks and seven strikeouts. Trevor Barton pitched one inning, allowing no runs. Holbrook made just two errors and left only four on base.
Holbrook picked up its only win of the tournament on Friday, a 10-3 victory over San Tan Foothills. The Birds scored three in the first, then broke a 3-3 tie with three more in the fourth. They added three final runs in the fifth to seal the win. The Roadrunners collected their 10 runs on eight hits with two errors and left 10 on base. Nikko Ferniza led at the plate, going two for three with an RBI and scored twice. Quintana was two for four with two RBIs. Gillespie went one for four with an RBI and scored once. Adryan Fulton was one for four with two RBIs and scored once. Buddy Wagoner was one for two with an RBI and scored twice. Baker went one for three. Jesse Spangler scored twice, while Ray Searles and Lanny Newton-Pender each scored once.
Jesse Spangler worked three innings on the hill, giving up three runs, only two earned, on three hits with one walk and five strikeouts. Barton worked two innings, allowing no runs on just two hits with one walk.
In their second game on Friday the Birds came up just one run short against the Cowboys of Camp Verde, losing 5-4. Both teams had seven hits, but Holbrook left nine on base and made one error. Spangler went two for four with an RBI and scored a run. Ferniza was also two for four with two RBIs. Julian Garcia went two for three and scored a run. Baker went one for two, scoring once. Searles picked up one RBI and Gillespie scored a run.
Holbrook played just once on Saturday, losing to Bourgade Catholic, 12-6. Spangler went two for four with an RBI and scored once. Nicholas Robinson was two for three with two RBIs. Baker went one for four with an RBI and scored twice. Garcia and Gillespie each went one for three and scored once. Ferniza also scored a run.
Holbrook used four pitchers in the loss. Newton-Pender worked two innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits with a walk and three strikeouts. Spangler pitched one inning, giving up five unearned runs on three hits with two walks and a strikeout. Logan Tsinijinnie worked an inning, allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits without a walk or a strikeout. Quintana also pitched an inning, giving up one run on two hits with one strikeout.
After hosting Winslow on Thursday, the Roadrunners will host Mogollon on Tuesday, March 5, then welcome in Flagstaff on Wednesday, March 6. On Friday, March 8, they play at Joseph City.
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By Greg Perkins