McCurdy improves to 3-0 in District 2/3-3A

McCurdy pitcher A
McCurdy pitcher A. J. Vallo pitched seven innings in relief and picked up the win in McCurdy’s 14-7 victory over Santa Fe Prep in nine innings April 6 in Santa Fe. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

McCurdy improves to 3-0 in District 2/3-3A

By George Morse Sports and Outdoors

They say that cats have nine lives. The McCurdy Charter School Bobcats likely used up seven of them in their 14-7 victory over the Santa Fe Prep Griffins April 6 at Fort Marcy Park in Santa Fe.

Down 7-3 going into the seventh inning, McCurdy rallied for four runs to tie the game. The Bobcats then battered relief pitcher Shane Unverferth for seven runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 14-7 victory and improve to 3-0 in District 3/3-3A.

“These kids battled,” McCurdy Coach Roberto DeVargas said. “”They were tough. A lot of heart.”

Prep had jumped on McCurdy starter Kemmer Croff for three runs in the first inning on two hits and two walks to take a 3-0 lead. After McCurdy scored a run in the top of the second inning, Prep added another run in the bottom of the inning after Sean Coles led off with a single and eventually scored. The Griffins led 4-1.

McCurdy got two runs in the top of the third on a single by Ernesto Martinez, a double by Isaac Fresquez and a single by Croff. A. J. Vallo came on in relief of Croff. Prep added another run in the bottom of the third inning.

Prep starter Jose Martinez shut out McCurdy for the next three innings. The Griffins added two runs in the bottom of the fourth inning on a McCurdy throwing error and led 7-3 going into the top of the seventh inning.

Down to their final three outs, the Bobcats got a bit of luck when leadoff hitter Isaac Fresquez lofted a pop fly to right field. The Griffins’ second baseman couldn’t seem to draw a bead on the ball and ended up tripping over his own feet. The ball fell safely for a single, almost hitting the second baseman on the way down.

After Croff struck out, Matthew Martinez was hit by a pitch. Ubaldo Barela then hit a slow grounder to second base. Hustling down the basepath, Barela beat the throw to first to load the bases.

The next batter, Nikko Valdez, lofted a short fly ball to center field that dropped for a hit, scoring a run and leaving the bases still loaded. After Paul Maestas popped out to first base, Isaiah Archuleta hammered a shot into right-center field. Two runs scored. Prep then overthrew third base, allowing Valdez to score the tying run.

McCurdy’s Isaiah Archuleta had a key hit in the seventh inning that scored two runs. A third run scored on a throwing error, allowing the Bobcats to tie the game 7-7. McCurdy went on to win 14-7. Photo by George Morse for the Valley Daily Post

Vallo held Prep scoreless in the bottom of the seventh inning and the game went into extra innings. Neither team scored in the eighth inning. In the top of the ninth inning, McCurdy adjusted to Unverferth’s slow delivery and began to pound the ball. Unverferth had trouble finding the plate, walking two batters and hitting two more. Combined with three hits and a Prep error, McCurdy put seven runs across the plate. Prep managed to put two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Vallo struck out the side to preserve the victory.

“I wouldn’t trade my team for anything,” Vallo said. “These guys are my brothers. I can’t do it without them.”

McCurdy played at Pecos Monday. It appears the Bobcats and the Raton High School Tigers are headed for a showdown as to who is the top team in District 2/3-3A. Raton beat Prep 16-2 April 8 to improve to 4-0 in District 2/3-3A. The Bobcats and the Tigers face each other in a big doubleheader April 22 in Raton.