Cimarron-Memorial’s starting lineup was dominated by sophomores on Tuesday.
But it was two seniors who carried the Spartans.
Alexander Marco’s two-run double in the fourth inning broke a 4-4 tie, and Luis Flores had four RBIs and pitched three scoreless innings to get the save as Cimarron’s baseball team topped visiting Durango 12-4.
“Zander, he’s been doing really well for us, playing really well and hitting the ball hard for us,” Cimarron coach Mike Hubel said. “That’s all we can ask him to do. He’s got to be the leader on this team with so many young kids in the lineup.”
The Spartans, who started six sophomores, loaded the bases in the fourth on a walk, a hit batter and a bloop single by Justin Cuddeback. Marco then lined a double to left-center field, plating two runs to give Cimarron a 6-4 lead. Trevor Doyle drove in another run with a safety squeeze to make the score 7-4 entering the fifth.
Marco also had a big hit to lead off the bottom of the first. Cimarron made three errors that led to three unearned runs in the top of the inning. But Marco drove a triple over the center fielder’s head on the first pitch of the bottom of the inning, and the Spartans scored two first-inning runs to get right back into the game.
“Early on, he felt like he had to put everybody on his shoulders and carry us,” Hubel said of Marco, who went 2-for-2 with three runs. “Now he’s kind of just relaxed more, and he’s been swinging the bat really well.”
Flores, who hadn’t been starting regularly, got the call at first base and delivered a pair of two-run singles.
“He’s been coming off the bench and doing well for us,” Hubel said. “I figured he’s been hitting the ball well lately, so I’m going to play him at first base, and he came up with two huge hits with two outs.”
The young Spartans improved to 8-8 and also took a stronger position in the Division I Sunset League as teams jockey for playoff position.
Cimarron is tied for seventh with Bonanza at 3-4. Centennial and Shadow Ridge are tied for second in the league at 5-2, two games ahead of Bonanza and Cimarron. Eight teams make the playoffs.
“Every game is important now,” Hubel said. “For me, that’s what makes it more fun. It’s go time every game, and every game counts.”