After a decade away, Farmington High School is back in a state baseball championship game.
The Scorpions will face defending champion Goddard at 3 p.m. today in the Class 5A final at Isotopes Park.
Farmington and the Rockets won semifinal games Friday at Santa Ana Star Field.
No. 2 FARMINGTON 9, No. 3 ST. PIUS 7: A seventh-inning rally came up just short for the third-seeded Sartans (19-10), who scored four runs and had a runner on third base before Farmington reliever Danny Carpenter finished off designated hitter Brayden Peyton on three pitches to end the game Friday night.
“If I had known, I would have started earlier,” St. Pius coach Matt McCoy said of what got his team going late. “We just knew this was it. It was the end of our season. We had three outs to go. If we just leave, we have to leave it on the table and hand it off to the next guy and that’s what we did.”
Trailing 9-3, the Sartans first four batters reached base in the seventh with Ryan McGaha’s single driving Farmington reliever Isaiah Jaramillo from the game.
Side-armer Carpenter got two ground outs before giving up a triple to Jacob McCoy, then retiring Peyton.
“You have to tip your hat, that group didn’t go away,” Farmington coach Sean Trotter said. “You tell me they’re going score four in the seventh and we’re going to win the game by two runs, that shows you how good the game was prior to that for us. That group in the other dugout was outstanding. They work their tails off. They played the game hard. You get there in that spot and they made it pretty interesting.”
A turning point in the game came in the fifth when St. Pius loaded the bases with one out. The Scorpions (23-5) turned to Jaramillo, who got the next two batters to end the threat.
“It’s just one of those situations where I have a little bit of experience, not so much in baseball, but I played in the semifinals in football,” he said. “I was just coming in to throw strikes.”
Farmington, one of New Mexico’s most tradition-rich programs, last played in a state baseball final in 2008, when the Scorpions beat Moriarty in the title game.
St. Pius lost in the state semifinals for the second consecutive season.
— Glen Rosales
No. 1 GODDARD 14, No. 4 BELEN 3 (5): The Rockets made a strong case for a successful defense of their state championship with a win that only required five innings in the afternoon semifinal.
Goddard advanced to its fifth straight state final; the Rockets lost the first three before defeating Albuquerque Academy in last year’s 5A championship contest.
After a scoreless first inning, Goddard (24-4) scored 10 runs in the second and caused the Eagles to cycle through three pitchers before settling on junior Troy Matheson for the rest of the game.
Though Matheson allowed only four runs during his time on the mound, the deficit was too great for the Eagles (23-8) to overcome.
Goddard senior and UNM commit Cameron Stevenson went 3-for-3 with a two-run homer. Junior Drew Price held the Eagles to seven hits, although two of those were homers by Belen senior Thomas Wisneski.
— Dustan Copeland