CLOVER PARK — The wind was blowing, Crossroads players were crossing the plate and co-head coaches Matt Amido and Pat Armstrong couldn’t have been happier with the result.
The Roadrunners baseball team not only defeated Animo Leadership 7-0, but proved that both coaches’ approach to the game appears to be gaining traction.
“Our guys did what we told them to do,” Amido said. “Get them on, get them over and get them in has been our approach all year.”
The Roadrunners did just that as they broke the game open during the third inning. With one out, Jaysen Chariamonte came to the plate and hit a sharp grounder to short that Animo’s Rafael Valdivia couldn’t handle. Brian Rosen followed and promptly sacrificed Chariamonte to second. Andres Leyva came up next and drew a clutch walk, setting the stage for Caleb Hodge.
The senior outfielder lined the second pitch he saw to center for a double, scoring a pair. Crossroads scored another in the third on pitcher Max Robinson’s single, which brought home Hodge making the score 3-0.
When not at the plate doing damage, sophomore Robinson was on the mound making short work of Animo’s lineup, which mustered just two hits off the crafty righty who collected four strikeouts en route to a complete game. With the win, Robinson is now 5-0 on the season and very much has the look of the team’s number one starter.
“I was hitting my spots,” Robinson said. “Everything went well out there today.”
Although the final score was a bit lopsided, Animo did make a game of it in the fourth inning. With a man out, sophomore third baseman Damian Garcia drew a walk. James Barraza stepped in next and hit a hard liner to third that Crossroads’ Josh Flyer fielded cleanly, but he failed to make a good throw to first. Garcia advanced to third on the throwing error.
Animo captain Gerardo Gonzalez, making his second plate appearance of the game, watched as Barraza stole second early during the at bat. With men on second and third, Gonzalez hit a fielder’s choice to short, scoring Garcia on the play. While Gonzalez was safe at first, Barraza was caught between second and third, eventually being tagged out. With the run, Animo creeped within two runs of the Roadrunners.
Unfortunately for the Aztec Eagles, Robinson was on his game.
“(Robinson) did a good job of keeping us off balance,” Animo’s Head Coach Randy Garcia said.
While praising Robinson’s effort, Garcia felt that it was the team’s defense that didn’t perform. Of the seven runs Crossroads scored, just two were earned. Animo starting pitcher Jose Pacheco pitched relatively well, but was undone by poor fielding and an offense that was stuck in neutral for much of the afternoon.
Crossroads was able to pad its lead late in the game with three runs in the bottom of the fifth. Sophomore shortstop Andres Leyva led off the inning with a triple deep down the left field line. Hodge followed with a walk, chasing Animo’s Pacheco from the game. Valdivia came in to face Robinson and induced a soft dribbler back to the mound, allowing the reliever to look Leyva back to the bag at third while tossing to second to force out Hodge.
With men at the corners, Garrett Baer came to the plate and drew a walk loading the bases for catcher Jake Berg-Rosenblatt, who hit a blooper to left that Gonzalez misplayed. Two runs scored on the play, making the score 5-1. Flyer followed by beating out a grounder to short, scoring Baer and making it 6-1.
The Roadrunners added an insurance run in the sixth when Robinson collected his second RBI of the game.
Next up for Crossroads is a road game against rival Brentwood today at 3 p.m. Brentwood is 5-6 on the season.