Tempers flared and drama ensued as crosstown rivals Robertson and West Las Vegas met on the baseball diamond for the first time this spring Saturday at Whorton Field.
Each squad won once in lopsided fashion, giving fans on both sides of the Gallinas something to be happy about — and, perhaps, something to be not so happy about.
West Las Vegas (11-5) won game one, doing most of its damage in innings three, four and five en route to a 9-2 verdict.
That game was marred by a couple of ugly incidents that resulted in four players — three from RHS, one from WLV — being ejected.
In the bottom of the fourth, as Robertson’s Dominic Lucero was crossing first base upon grounding out, he knocked Dons first baseman Robert Romero to the ground. That drew the ire of the West fans and resulted in Lucero’s ejection. At that point, the Dons led 7-1.
More fireworks came in the next inning. West opened the top of the fifth with three straight hits, and leadoff batter Brian Gonzales attempted a slide at home. He was blocked by RHS catcher Javier Trujillo, who applied the tag. But the two players got entangled and exchanged words before umpires intervened. Both were ejected, as was Nathan Archuleta, who joined the ensuing confrontation.
Both coaches, Robertson’s Kenneth Sandoval and West’s Ryan Gabaldon, were left having to make unanticipated changes to their lineups the rest of the afternoon.
The Dons added two more runs after the dust settled in the inning, and Robertson scored once more in its final at-bat of the game.
Jake Ulibarri recorded the complete-game pitching win for the Dons after allowing three hits and three walks. Gonzales finished with a triple, a double, two runs batted in and two runs scored.
Josh Romero doubled for the Cardinals and wound up scoring their last run.
As well as West hit in game one, the Dons couldn’t sustain the momentum in game two, an 11-1 RHS victory.
Robertson lefty Brandon Trujillo kept the visitors off balance and served up one of the better pitching efforts to date, holding West scoreless until the fourth inning.
Jorge Gallardo’s RBI double broke the ice for West. But the Cardinals responded with a run off some nifty baserunning.
Robertson’s Michael Salazar put an early end to the game by driving in a run to trigger the 10-run rule in the bottom of the fifth.
Eleazar Allen led the Redbirds (10-5), going 3 for 3 with three runs.
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Across Cinder Road, West Las Vegas’ softball team found itself playing the part of visitor on its own field.
That’s because a problem with the Robertson softball field — where Saturday’s twinbill had been scheduled — led to the games’ relocation.
Robertson took game one, an abbreviated 13-3 tally that saw the Lady Cardinals continue their recent hitting surge.
But the Lady Dons parlayed a strong fifth inning into a sizable cushion and held on for a 17-12 win in game two.