District begins; Rams respond/Showdown with Hawks is up next

Rio Rancho baseball coach Ron Murphy got the answer he was hoping for.

“I was definitely encouraged,” Murphy said after the Rams beat Cibola 8-5 on Tuesday in both teams’ District 1-5A opener.

Rio Rancho (14-4) ended a three-game losing streak that had Murphy concerned about how his team would respond against the Cougars.

His concerns were alleviated early, when the Rams scored four in the first inning on home runs from Brandon Garcia and Marcus Martinez.

“All of a sudden, district started, and that put the emergency back in their game and they finally started competing again,” Murphy said.

Today at 10 a.m., the Rams visit Volcano Vista (10-6) for the early lead in 1-5A.

“Right now, I think Volcano Vista is playing the best baseball — well, them and Sandia are playing the best baseball in the state,” Murphy said. “In order to win district, you have to go through Volcano Vista right now.”

The Hawks ripped Cleveland 17-7 in six innings on Tuesday. Dylan Dudley homered and drove in five runs to pace Volcano Vista, which won its fifth game in a row.

chris Padilla and Daniel Herrera had three hits apiece for the Hawks, who had 15 as a team.

Marcos Travers belted a three-run homer for the Storm.

Cibola (8-8) meets Cleveland (10-8) in a doubleheader at 10 a.m. today at Cibola. In the Cougars’ loss to Rio Rancho, Casey Perry, Drew Janis and Phil Trujillo all had two hits.

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