LAS CRUCES – The Las Cruces Bulldawgs swept Mayfield in their last series of the regular season to boost their chances for a high seed in the upcoming state playoffs.
The Bulldawgs defeated the Trojans 3-1 Friday night at the Field of Dreams Complex winning the second game of the doubleheader. Las Cruces finished its regular season at 20-6 overall and 13-5 in district play, and Mayfield finished 12-14 and 8-10 in district.
Las Cruces won the first game of the double header 7-3.
The Bulldawgs were the first to get on the scoreboard with two runs in the bottom of the second inning, provided by Juan Perez who had a base hit to right field. The second run coming from a rundown.
Steve Solorzano started on the bump for Las Cruces and pitched a complete game striking out 11 batters and only giving up one run off four hits.
“After sweeping Mayfield we’re pumped,” Solorzano said. “We’re pumped that we get to go into the playoffs. I’m really proud of my team.” Solorzano went 2-for-3 at the plate and cashed in the Bulldawgs’ third run of the game with an RBI triple to center field.
Mayfield had a chance to get back into the game scoring a run in the top of the sixth inning with a groundball past the shortstop from Trojans’ Antonio Reyes, which brought Mayfield within striking distance at 3-1. Reyes started the game for the Trojans and went all seven innings striking out 10 batters.
Mayfield momentum in the sixth inning was cut short after Solorzano picked off the lead runner at third base then got the third out on the following pitch.
“We’ve been playing some good ball the past couple of weeks,” Las Cruces coach Gil Padilla said. “That’s one thing about this team is that they come back, and they work.”
It’s been over a decade since las Cruces had a 20-win season, dating back to the 2012. Padilla is excited for his teams’ chances in the playoffs.
“That (20 wins) says a lot about how well we have been playing and how we grew together,” Padilla said. “We’re peaking at the right time and hopefully we can get a decent seed and we can do something.”
The selection show for the 2022 NMAA State Baseball Championships for 2A-5A begins on Sunday May 1 at 5 pm The first round of the playoffs begins May 6-7 with all first-round games being a best of three series.