LAUGHLIN – The Wells baseball team’s season found a rocky start Friday during the Cougar Classic, in Laughlin, the Leopards suffering a lopsided loss to the tournament hosts.
Wells fell 11-1 to the Cougars but bounced back and drew even with Liberty Baptist in the second contest, the game ending in a 4-4 tie.
The Cougars posted three runs in the top of the first inning, five more in the second and another three in the top of the third – rolling to an 11-1 victory over Wells – the Leopards’ lone run coming in the bottom half of the third after two frames of scoreless ball.
Wells mounted just two hits in the contest, senior Zane Rodriguez going for a two-out single in the bottom of the third inning and scoring on an RBI double by junior Sergio Soriano in the bottom of the third.
As a team, the Leopards went 2-for-10 at the plate – drawing a walk and placing three runners on base with hit-by-pitches – Rodriguez’s single and Soriano’s double serving as the only knocks, Soriano earning Wells’ only RBI and Rodriguez scoring the lone run.
Over three innings of work, senior pitcher Garrett Carter allowed 11 runs (seven earned) on nine hits with seven strikeouts and three walks.
Laughlin senior Tyreece Gonzalez went 3-for-3 at the plate and drove in three runs, junior Tyrell Gonzalez adding two RBIs and hitting 1-for-3 with a double – scoring a team-high three runs.
On the bump, Tyreece Gonzalez shut the Leopards down in a short outing – allowing just one run on two hits with six punchouts and a walk over three innings.
Junior Diego Trujillo’s lone hit was an exciting one, kicking off the Cougars’ scoring in the top of the third with a one-out deep shot over the fence in center field.
Despite going 0-for-3 at the dish, senior Benedict Garganera drove in a run – earning a bases-loaded walk in the top of the second inning – scoring a run of his own immediately after on a two-out error in left field.
Trujillo and junior Malik Ksouri each crossed home twice for Laughlin.
LAUGHLIN – 353 – (11)91
WELLS – 001 – 123
Versus Liberty Baptist
Following a slow start to the early game, Wells began its second contest with a bang – scoring all four of its runs in the top of the first inning – the defense unable to maintain a two-run lead in the bottom half of the third.
The Knights posted two runs in the final frame and pulled out a 4-4 tie with the Leopards.
The Leopards juiced the bases right out of the box, placing two runners on with walks and Rodriguez hitting a single to second base.
Sophomore Riley Stewart scored on a wild pitch, and sophomore Jadon Anderson crammed the bases full with another free pass.
An error on a groundball to the shortstop gave Rodriguez a free trot home, and another error at short – a two-out miscue – allowed Soriano and Anderson to score for a 4-0 advantage.
The Leopards gave some runs back with errors of their own, one in left field making the score 4-1 and the second run of the bottom half of the first crossing on a balk.
Wells went hitless in the top of the second and third innings, and the defense committed a two-run error in the bottom half – the Knights scoring all four of their runs on errors – the game closing a 4-4 tie.
With eight runs posted to the board, the teams combined for just three hits, Wells finding just one – Rodriguez’s no-out single in the top of the first – the Leopards hitting 1-for-11.
Each squad committed three errors, the mistakes proving costly for both the Leopards and the Knights.
Anderson, Rodriguez, Soriano and Stewart scored one run apiece for Wells.
On the hill, senior Enrique Aguilar allowed four runs (three earned) on two hits with three strikeouts and four walks over three innings.
WELLS – 400 – 413
LIBERTY BAPTIST – 202 – 423
The Leopards will play Round Mountain at 8 a.m. Saturday, taking on White Pine immediately after at 10 a.m. Saturday, in Laughlin.