Trojans Roll to Second Straight R9 Title
The 2015 Region IX Baseball Champions. (photo by David Barrack)
The Trinidad State baseball team finished third in the regular season race for the Empire Conference crown, but that did not stop the Trojans from claiming their second Region IX title in as many years this past weekend at the Region IX Tournament in Lamar. The Trojans won three games in three days to bring home the trophy. They will now prepare for the Western District Tournament in Henderson, Nevada later this week.
The regular season race was tight all spring, coming down to a four-way competition the final two weeks of the season. Lamar ended up first with a 26-10 record, followed by Otero at 24-12, Trinidad at 21-15 and Northeastern at 20-16. The top four teams qualify for the tournament so it ended up that Lamar would host Northeastern and Otero faced the Trojans.
Josh Payne picked up the win against Otero in the Region IX Title game on Saturday. (photo by David Barrack)
The tournament got underway on Thursday with the hometown Lopes getting the better of NJC 5-1 in the opener. The Trojans then faced the Rattlers in the nightcap. TSJC jumped out to an early 3-0 lead on a home run by Alex Dominguez. Pitcher Alex Rogers kept Otero under wraps early and the Trojans increased the lead to 6-0. The rest of the game went back and forth with the Trojans hanging on for the 11-7 win.
The Trojans took on nationally ranked Lamar on Friday evening in the second round of the tournament. James Smith tossed an amazing game, striking out six batters and not giving up any earned runs through ten-innings of work. The Trojan bats struggled against the Lopes staff as well, and the game remained 1-1 all the way through twelve innings. In the top of the 13th the Trojans broke it open plating three runs. Kenny Hanson shut Lamar down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the 4-1 win. Dominguez, Brady Rogers and Tyler Klein each drove in runs for the Trojans.
Brady Rogers tags a runner out at second during the Trojans 14-2 win over Otero. (photo by David Barrack)
Otero was the team to fight their way out of the losers bracket to face the Trojans again on Saturday. TSJC wasted no time jumping on the Rattlers with back-to-back home runs by Brady Rogers and Bronson Butcher in the first inning. Josh Payne held Otero in check from the hill as the Trojans continued to poor on runs. By the time the dust cleared the Trojans took the title with a 14-2 win.
The back-to-back Region IX champion Trojans (35-21) will head to Nevada for the Western District Baseball Championship starting Thursday, May 14. The games will take place at Morse Stadium on the College of Southern Nevada's Henderson Campus. Yavapai (42-17) will face Salt Lake CC (37-22) in the first game and then the Trojans will face #8 ranked Southern Nevada (44-15) at 7 p.m.
Trojans take series over Miles
Dalton Drury slides past a tag attempt to score the winning run on Sunday in game three of the six game series with the Pioneers. (Photo by Emmy Gazaway)
Trinidad State hosted Empire Conference newcomer Miles City Community College this past weekend at Central Park. These were the first Region IX games played by the Trojans this season because of the weather in late February and early March. Coach Matthew Torrez and the Trojan team worked hard getting the field ready for this crucial series and the hard work paid dividends as they took four of the six games from the Pioneers.
The Trojans got off to a great start on Saturday behind a strong pitching performance from Alex Rogers. Rogers struck out five in six innings of work and Humberto Montiel closed the door in the seventh for the 3-2 win. In game two the Trojans plated eight runs on eight hits, including a pair of doubles from Bronson Butcher to post the 8-3 win. Neiko Martinez came on in relief to pick up the win and Kenny Hanson pitched the seventh for the save.
The first game on Sunday had plenty of drama coming down to the final at-bat. The Trojans trailed early but fought back to a 4-4 tie heading into the bottom of the seventh. Dalton Drury beat out a close play at the plate to end it with the Trojans on top 5-4. The second game needed extra innings, but the Trojans could not get it done in that one falling 5-2.
Alex Rogers picked up his second win of the season in the series opening 3-2 victory over Miles City (photo by Emmy Gazaway)
On Monday, the Trojans survived five errors to top the Pioneers 4-3. Hanson got the win in relief and Butcher went 1-2 with a double, an RBI and a run scored. The final game of the series saw the Trojans take an early lead but this time the errors caught up with them and they fell 8-5. Colby Schrade and Cruz Nevarez accounted for three runs and three RBI’s as they each had a pair of hits in the game.
Trinidad is now 10-8 on the season and 4-2 in Region IX play. This coming weekend the Trojans will travel to McCook, Nebraska for a four-game series. They will play road games against McCook, Northeastern, Lamar, Western Nebraska and Adams State JV before returning for their next home series the first weekend of April.
Trojans sweep Rams to open 2015 season
James Prigmore slides in safely as the throw gets away at home plate. The Trojans won the game 12-2 on Sunday afternoon over CSU. (Photo by Emmy Gazaway)
The defending Region IX champs took the field for the first time in 2015 this past weekend at Central Park sweeping the Rams from CSU-Fort Collins in four straight games. The Trojans outscored their opponents by a combined 44-4 over the weekend.
For the first game on Saturday it was sophomore Alex Rogers taking the bump for the Trojans. The Canadian right-hander went the full five innings, striking out four on route to his first win of the season. The high-pressure offensive attack of the Trojans put 13 hits on the board and stole four bases in the 11-1 win. In the second game, Izar Mendez, a lefty from California, held the Rams to just two hits while striking out six. Dalton Drury had three hits, stole a base and scored twice to pace the offense to another 11-1 win.
On Sunday, sophomore Josh Payne shut the Rams down and the Trojan offense pounded out 13 hits for a 10-0 win in the first game. In the final game of the series James Smith and Caden Pratt, freshmen from Brighton, Colorado, led the team to a 12-2 victory. Smith picked up the win on the hill and his battery mate Pratt gathered up two hits, three runs, an RBI, and a stolen base.
Isaac Gonzales singles against CSU on Sunday afternoon. (photos by Emmy Gazaway)
"It was a good opening weekend for us. We were able to get some new players some at-bats and get them familiar with the pace of college baseball,” commented third-year Head Coach Matthew Torrez. “A couple of guys with really good weekends at the plate were Alex Dominguez, he had seven hits and ended up hitting over .700 for the weekend. Cruz Nevarez had eight hits, one homerun and four stolen bases; he did a great job of igniting our offense at the top of the lineup. On the mound all of our pitchers did a really good job of staying ahead of the hitters and giving us a chance to make plays behind them. Josh Payne threw four innings of no-hit baseball and James Smith received his first college win going five innings, allowing five hits, one earned run, no walks and seven K's. We had a successful weekend as a team, now it is time to move on to next week as we travel to New Mexico Junior College who is always a tough opponent.”
The Trojans will head to Hobbs, New Mexico where they will take on NMJC for one game on Friday, a doubleheader on Saturday and a single game on Sunday. They will next play at home on February 22 when they host Luna Community College for a doubleheader starting at noon.
Trojans take Region IX Title
The 2014 Region IX Baseball Champion TSJC Trojans. (Photo by David Barrack)
The Trinidad State baseball team fought its way to the top of Region IX this past weekend with tournament victories over Northeastern, Lamar and Otero. The Trojans entered the tournament seeded third in the region, however they rolled through the first two games before defeating Otero in extra innings to claim the crown. The Region IX champs will now prepare for their trip to districts later this week.
At the midpoint of the season things were looking bleak as a mid-season slump left the team at a 22-22 record. The team turned things around taking two games from Otero, splitting with Lamar and sweeping McCook. The Trojans finished the regular season with a six game winning streak and a 31-24 record. They then had to wait almost two weeks to start the playoffs.
“We finished the season playing pretty well,” commented second year Head Coach Matthew Torrez. “I was asked a couple of times if the ten-day layoff would affect us. Some people may look at that as a negative but I took it the opposite way. I felt that it would give us time to get healthy and be at full strength for the playoffs.”
At the regional tournament the Trojans did what they do best, get the ball in play and hustle to make teams make mistakes. In the first game against NJC the Trojans stole seven bases keeping the Plainsmen off balance. TSJC won the back and forth affair 6-4. Alex Rogers pitched seven beautiful innings striking out five to pick up the win and Julian Moroyoqui tossed two perfect innings to earn the save. TSJC leadoff man Julien Belanger finished with three hits and a stolen base.
The team raises the trophy after the 9-6 win over Otero. (Photo by David Barrack)
Game two only lasted seven innings as the Trojans rolled past regular season champion Lamar 8-0. Eric Bussey was dominant on the hill giving up only four hits while striking out five in the complete game shutout. Colby Schrade scored two runs, including a solo home run, to pace the Trojan offense.
The title game went to extra innings but the Trojans finally put away the fourth seeded Rattlers 9-6. Moroyoqui picked up the win in relief. Drake Duncan, Wesley Aguilar and Christian Benitez all hit bombs for Trinidad.
“Our kids went out and played aggressively,” noted Torrez. “We were able to get extra bases and put pressure on the defense as an offensive club. On the other side of the ball we minimized our errors and the pitchers kept the walks to a minimum. I am very proud of this group as we had a chance in the middle of the season to fold up tents. They kept pushing and that adversity sent us on a nice little end of the season run.”
Six Trojan players earned post-season honors. Belanger and Dunkin were first team All-Region selections and Benitez, Bussey, Max Broullaird and Michael Barrientos each earned second team honors. Coach Torrez was named Coach of the Year for Region IX.
The Trojans (34-24) will now head to the Western District Tournament in Arizona. They will play Cochise College (34-26) in the first round at 3 p.m. on Thursday. This tournament is also a double-elimination bracket with the winner heading to Nationals in Grand Junction later this month.
“We have reached a goal our program has set and would like to keep reaching for more,” said Torrez. “I speak for our whole program when I say thank you to all the people that support our program and we hope that we have made you proud!”
Trojans take series from Rattlers
Trojan Dalton Drury lays down a bunt against CSU earlier this spring. The freshman from Pueblo has 10 stolen bases already this season.
Trinidad State got off to a good start in conference play taking three of four from Otero over the weekend. The Trojans split games in La Junta on Saturday and then took both in Trinidad on Sunday.
In the first game on Saturday the Trojans got a great pitching performance from Jean-Felix Proulx but couldn’t manage to plate any runs dropping the conference opener 2-0. Proulx went the distance on the hill surrendering only four hits and no earned runs while striking out a pair. The Trojans managed six hits in the game, including a double from Nick Johnson, but were unable to plate a run.
In the second game of the series the Rattlers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Trinidad responded in the third with a two-out, two-RBI triple off the bat of Dalton Drury. They then took the lead in the fourth when Max Brouillard singled in Christian Benitez. A host of Trojan pitchers slammed the door the rest of the way for the 3-2 win. Craig Bristol picked up the win and Julian Moroyoqui was credited with the save.
On Sunday the series moved to Trinidad and the Trojans got the bats going. A ten-run fifth inning finished the game early with a final score of 12-2. Johnson, Brouillard and Moroyoqui each doubled in the game and Michael Barrientos hit a homerun, finishing with 4 RBI’s. Alex Rogers picked up his second win of the season on the hill.
The final game of the series went back and forth but the Trojans played small ball to claim the 6-4 win. Drury finished the game with three hits to go with his three stolen bases. Dillon Gaasbeck picked up the win in relief and Moroyoqui pitched a flawless seventh to claim his fifth save of the year. Six Trojan pitchers combined for nine strikeouts in the game.
The Trojans (11-5, 3-1) will host Northeastern Junior College (2-8, 2-0) this Saturday and Sunday at Central Park. The games were originally scheduled to be played in Sterling, but will be played in Trinidad because of adverse weather up north. The four game set will start at noon both days.
Trojan baseball starts season with road split
Strong pitching and struggles at the plate highlighted the Trojans season opening series in Thatcher, Arizona. The TSJC Baseball squad faced off with Eastern Arizona for twin doubleheaders over the opening weekend and returned home with a 2-2 record.
Sophomore pitcher Jean-Felix Proulx took control of game one tossing six strong innings, striking out five, on route to a 4-3 win. In the game the Trojans first run of the season came on a long fly off the bat of sophomore Michael Barrientos. The homerun to center gave TSJC a 1-0 lead in the second. Eastern scored a pair in the third but the Trojans struck back to tie it in the fifth when Nico Porreco singled Dalton Drury home. Trinidad retook the lead in the sixth when Drake Duncan doubled in Christian Benitez who had singled to open the inning. Again Eastern tied it up and again the Trojan offense responded as Colby Schrade got himself into scoring position and crossed the plate on a Porreco single in the top of the seventh. Julian Moroyoqui came in and slammed the door in the seventh to preserve the 4-3 win and pick up the save.
Trinidad had its best hitting performance in the second game on Friday as they plated six runs. Drury got TSJC going in the second when he singled and came around to score. A four-run fourth, keyed by a Beau Talley two RBI double, put the game out of reach. Josh Payne tossed five strong innings, striking out six and only giving up three hits.
The Trojan bats cooled on Saturday as neither team could get anything going in game one. The Trinidad pitchers kept Eastern Arizona in check for nine innings but in the tenth the Gila Monsters were able to plate the only run of the game winning it 1-0. Alex Rogers, Erik Bussey and Moroyoqui combined to strikeout nine but did not have any run support as the Trojans only managed two hits.
In the series finale Max Brouillard got the Trojans going with a solo shot to left in the second but an error started an Eastern rally that plated three in the third. Trinidad got one run back on a Nick Eurich single that scored Benitez, but the Trojans fell 3-2. Jordan Smith handled Eastern Arizona's lineup most of the contest, racking up six strikeouts, allowing no earned runs, six hits and two walks over six innings.
TSJC will hit the road again this weekend as they head to Roswell, New Mexico to take on NMMI for four games. They will then play at Central Park for the first time this spring on February 15 and 16 as they take on CSU-Fort Collins.
Baseball lands recruits for 2014-2015
Coach Matthew Torrez recently announced the TSJC baseball recruiting class for 2014-2015. So far seven young men have committed to play ball for the Trojans next fall.
- Victor Chavez - Rio Rancho HS in Rio Rancho, NM - RHP/OF
- Bronson Butcher - Westlake HS in Saratoga Springs, UT - 3B
- James Smith - Brighton HS in Brighton, CO - RHP
- Caden Pratt - Brighton HS in Brighton, CO - C
- Anthony Porreco - D’Evelyn HS in Lakewood, CO - MIF
- PJ Underwood - Lewis Palmer HS in Monument, CO - C
- Cam Baird - Raton HS in Raton, NM - RHP
The TSJC baseball program would like to welcome all of these players to the Trojan family. We are excited about these players and wish them the best of luck in their senior seasons of high school.
Baseball drawing winners
The Annual Baseball drawing was held this past week
here are the winners...
- Drury Roofing
- Dan Porreco
- Dan Nuschy
We would like to thank all the participants in our drawing, we would also like to thank the three winners for donating the proceeds back to the baseball program.
Baseball set for Fall Season
The Trojan Baseball team will be returning to the field at Central Park in just a few weeks, as they get ready for another season. The Trojans have a busy fall planned: