FARMINGTON – The Shiprock Dodgers and Kirtland Broncos opened up the 2023 Connie Mack city league season on a winning note Wednesday night at Ricketts Park.
The Dodgers beat the NWNM Elite by a final of 7-3 in the second game of a twin bill for the Elite, while the Broncos scored a 5-3 win in the earlier contest.
The Broncos were led by Zander Sanchez, who not only scored the first run of the game after crossing the plate from third on a passed ball, but also pitched effectively from the mound as the team earned its first win of the campaign.
The Broncos scored three times in the bottom half of the second inning, giving the team an insurmountable lead. Sanchez, who walked to lead off the inning, later stole second and third base before scoring on the errant throw from Elite pitcher Jaten Pousson.
Sanchez was effective on the mound, despite being relatively new to the position, limiting damage to only a few runs in the victory.
“He’s a multisport athlete who had never pitched before this season,” said Broncos coach Isaiah Valdez. “We didn’t have enough pitching so I put him on the mound. We found a guy who go in and throw strikes.”
Kirtland (1-0) will be back in action Thursday at 7:40 p.m. at Ricketts Park where they will face the 505 Patriots Black.
Shiprock, led by pitcher Shaydin Tsosie, scored its first win of the season in a 7-3 win Wednesday night over the Elite, who are still in search of their first win of the season.
The Dodgers overcame a slow start on its way to the win, something head coach Darren Kenneth chalked up to early inning jitters.
“Nervousness got to us in the first inning,” Kenneth said. “From that point on, we wanted to see where we are as a team and a unit.”
Tsosie overcame the early trouble and earned the victory for the Dodgers (1-0).
“(Tsosie) did a great job for us in his first outing,” Kenneth said. “On defense, we stayed solid with him on the mound.”
The Dodgers will return to action on Friday, June 9 for a doubleheader against the 505 Panthers and a second game of the season against the Elite.