The Post 13 Blue Jays Scout Team had trailed just once prior to the Pathway Games Albuquerque Upperclass championship game. While the Blue Jays may have fallen to MAC Elite on Saturday, Tuesday’s contest was another matter. Post 13 scored 10 unanswered runs to capture the title, 10-5, over the NMSB Washington Nationals Scout Team.
“We were down but we weren’t out,” explained head coach Danny Gonzalez. “We got to together as coaches and started thinking about what kind of adjustments we could make at the plate.
“We were never too flat. We thought it was just a matter of time before we broke loose again.”
Both teams had chances to break open the scoring early. Twice in the first two innings, NMSB had a runner just 90 feet away from home but failed to convert each time.
The Blue Jays themselves had runners in scoring position in the first and third innings. Defense prevailed once again, leaving the contest scoreless.
NMSB finally broke the stalemate in the top of the third inning with three runs, and stretched its lead, 5-0, with two more in the fourth.
“When we went down, we knew we needed to pick our energy up,” said Benito Garcia. “In the next inning, our intensity went up and we started hitting the ball again.”
Garcia and the Blue Jays' climb back into the ballgame began in the bottom of the fourth inning. Three straight singles quickly loaded the bases, putting the pressure back on the shoulders of the Nationals for the first time on the afternoon.
Although the Blue Jays only plated a single run in the fourth, the group carried its momentum into the fifth. All 10 batters came to the plate in the half-inning for Post 13. In total, the Blue Jays rallied for seven runs on five hits, including a two-RBI double from Garcia that, at the time, brought Post 13 within one, 5-4.
“Taking the first pitch is my thing to do,” Garcia said. “It helps me stay back and get into the at-bat. I was looking for something middle in or middle out all day. When I got my pitch, I took advantage of my opportunity.”
Garcia wouldn’t have to wait long to celebrate a newfound lead with his teammates, coming around to score two batters later on Thomas Ben Schoneman’s single. Lead in hand, Post 13’s avalanche of runs wouldn’t stop.
The sixth inning gave two more runs to the Blue Jays and another double for Garcia as he capped off a 4-4 day at the dish with three RBI and two runs scored.
Ultimately, a 1-2-3 effort in the top of the seventh frame sealed an impressive victory for coach Gonzales and Post 13, 10-5.
“This team really came together of the course of this tournament,” said Gonzales. “Nobody put anybody else down. They supported each other. They were behind each other.
“They picked each other up when they were down. It was a nice surprise and I am proud of the way they handled themselves.”
Though early in the Summer, Post 13 seems primed to get the most of its 2019 campaign.
“It’s a great start,” Garcia said. “The win lets other teams know that we aren’t a team to mess around with, take easy or let off the hook. Today, we proved we play really good ball.”