Raptors roll on

Photo courtesy of Francis Roberson

Cortez Raptors’ pitcher Konnar McGee throws against the Durango Demons on Saturday, at Ricketts Park in Farmington, N.M., in Mickey Mantle League baseball action. McGee earned the win, as the Raptors beat their rivals, 4-2.

By Kathy Roberson
Special to the Journal

The Cortez Raptors baseball team continues to roll in the 15-16-year-old Farmington (N.M.) Mickey Mantle League.

Cortez notched five wins and one loss during the last two weeks, and sport a 13-2-1 overall record.

On June 20, the Raptors dropped their second game of the season to the hometown favorites, the Farmington Sting, 6-0. In spite of the loss, Konnar McGee turned in a good performance, recording eight strikeouts with only one walk in a full game.

The Raptors came back strong in the first game of a doubleheader against the Shiprock N.M. Athletics on June 23, at Parque de Vida. In the first game, the Raptors dominated, taking the game in five innings, 12-0. Andrew Laymon pitched the first four innings, adding eight Ks and four walks to his season totals for the win. Joe Whyte came in for the final inning, recording two strikeouts with one walk for the save. There were several outstanding batting performances in this game, most notably Raudy Castillo. He went 2-for-3 with two triples and two runs batted in. Also, contributing to the Raptors Jurassic effort, were Laymon (a double and three RBIs), Eddie Martinez (a double and one RBI), Whyte (2-of-2, a double and one RBI), Taren Lanier (a double), Ian Roberson (2-for-3 and one RBI), Kellen Gatzke (two RBIs), and Kevin Morales with an RBI.

In the second game of the doubleheader on a hot smoky Cortez afternoon, the Raptors, after trailing the A’s for much of the game, finally came out on top 5-4 in eight innings. The Raptors had difficulty finding the strike zone and used three pitchers. Roberson pitched 2 2/3 innings, five Ks, six walks, two runs; Whyte, 3 1/3 innings, three strikeouts, four walks, one run; and, Castillo, two innings, three strikeouts, one walk and one run.

Offensively, Gatzke was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate with a stolen base. Martinez, who hit 2-of-3 with two doubles and two RBIs, turned in a excellent batting performance for the Raptors. The game winning hit, however, came when Morales hit a line drive to right center, bringing in Martinez from second base to secure the victory. But the Raptors suffered some major misfortune on that day. Laymon was injured during the final minutes and will be out for the rest of the season.

On June 27, in Farmington, the Raptors saw action against the Four Corners Braves. Behind Gatzke’s excellent pitching (five innings, 10 strikeouts, three walks, three runs) and one inning from McGee (two strikeouts, one walk, two runs), the Raptors walked away with an 11-5 win.

Roberson was 2-of-3 at the plate with a double and two RBIs. Martinez recorded a 2-of-3 outing with a double and a RBI. McGee went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Castillo also hit 2-for-3. Dayne Black slammed his first triple of the year and Lanier added two RBIs to his season total, while also stealing a base. Randy Haley tallied a RBI and Whyte stole two bases.

On Saturday, the Raptors played at Ricketts Park in Farmington against the Kirtland (N.M.) D-Backs. Stellar pitching from Black (five innings, six strikeouts and no walks) saw the Raptors win 9-1.

Notable batting performances included Martinez (2-for-2), Roberson (two RBIs), Lanier (two stolen bases), and Haley, Castillo, and Black all had one stolen base apiece.

The second game of the doubleheader matched the Raptors against the Durango Demons. McGee turned in another excellent pitching outing. He retired seven Demons with only two walks and two runs in the 4-2 win.

Haley went 2-for-3 at the plate with a stolen base. Martinez had one RBI and one stolen base. Roberson and McGee each had one RBI.

Adding stolen bases to their totals, were Morales with three, Whyte had one and Castillo also recorded one.

The Raptors next play in the Farmington MML city tournament this weekend.

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