By Arnie Leshin
Going by results of the last two seasons under head coach Nicholas Salazar, the Capital baseball team is making progress.
Currently at 6-12 overall and winless in four District 5-5A starts, it follows on last year’s 5-21 mark. And if you don’t think that’s progress on the field of play, consider the previous ones since the 2007-08 season under John Jaramillo.
Nineteen wins and 215 losses, that’s a dismal 19-215 anyway you look at it. To break it down, there’s been two years with four wins, five with two wins, one with a measly one in the win column, and two with winless seasons.
But things are looking up. The Jaguars might not be a threat for district honors, but they had never had a five or six-win campaign. Their most recent outing came at Albuquerque High Saturday. They dropped both ends of the district doubleheader, but the Bulldogs do stand alone on top of the standings at 6-0, and added 11-6 and 11-1 triumphs to improve to 11-7.
Despite this, Capital won two in row after losing its first two. Then, after dropping three straight, it got to 5-6 for the first time through these years. It also blanked Newcomb, 22-0, and Espanola Valley, 11-0. And has not played Santa Fe High or St. Michael’s, but did turn back Santa Fe Indian School, 7-1.
And the Jags had a tight one in losing, 4-3, to Aztec, but did get past Pojoaque Valley, 5-4. Salazar has a pair of 8th graders, three freshmen, four sophomores, four juniors, and five seniors. In previous years, the program has had tough times putting together rosters, but not this time.
“This is a good group of kids,” Salazar said. “They don’t talk about the past, just come to play and have good attitudes.”
And the junior varsity has won three of 10 starts, so there should be more additions to the varsity next season. If it doesn’t sound like progress, you’re not tuned in. The next start is Saturday’s district doubleheader against visiting Albuquerque Sandia.
The District 2-3A baseball game that had Robertson visiting St. Michael’s wasn’t reported, and Santa Fe High hit the road for 5-5A Albuquerque Sandia and took a 10-3 setback to fall to 9-10 overall and 0-4 in district. Sandia improved to 10-6 overall and right up there at the top of the standings at 4-0.
Jemez Valley paid a visit to Desert Academy and came with a sweep, 24-4, and 16-10.
In softball, Albuquerque won twice in a 5-5A twin bill at Capital, 12-2 and 20-3 as the Bulldogs moved to the top of the standings at 4-0, and advanced to 10-5-2 overall. The Jags are now 7-10 overall and 2-2 in district.
Going back to Friday, Espanola McCurdy won a wild one at Pecos, as the Bobcats held the lead until the Panthers challenged in the late innings but were outscored 26-25. And in the clash of the Jaguars, it was visiting Valencia disposing of Capital, 12-2, in non district play.
In Friday baseball, Capital blanked Espanola, 11-0 and McCurdy turned back Indian School, 6-3, in a non district contest.
On the Tuesday baseball schedule, St. Michael’s plays at the Braves in 2-3A, and on Saturday its Sandia paying a call to the Jaguars for a 5-5A doubleheader, and at Santa Fe High in the same district, the Demons will play two versus Albuquerque Manzano.
In Tuesday softball, West Las Vegas visits Indian School in 2-3A, and St. Michael’s takes short ride to face Santa Fe Prep in district play.
On Thursday, the Lady Horsemen, who previously split two with Indian School, plays at the Braves in 2-3A. The same day, Capital plays host to Albuquerque High in a district doubleheader.
Saturday, the Demonettes head for a district doubleheader at Manzano, and Sandia will play two at Capital.
And kudos again to the baseball Jaguars, as well as Salazar.