The Odessa High Bronchos wrapped up the Tournament of Champions on Saturday with a 7-5 victory over El Paso Franklin at Pressly Field.
Earlier Saturday, the Bronchos (9-2) dropped a 12-2 decision to El Paso Montwood for their only loss of the weekend.
Against Franklin, Jordan Munoz hit a grand slam and drove in five runs as Odessa High made the most of four hits. The Bronchos took advantage of 11 walks, two hit batters and a Franklin error to get runners on base.
“I’m just extremely proud of our guys for competing when we had a short stick,” Odessa High coach Joshua Hulin said. “We ended this tournament with nine healthy players. For guys to compete like that and play out of position and still find a way to win ballgames, I’m extremely proud of our guys for doing that.
“Our pitchers threw strikes and gave us a chance. If your pitchers throw strikes and you make routine plays, you always have a chance.”
Damian Aspeitia went five innings for the win against Franklin, giving up five runs on four hits. He struck out six and walked four. After giving up a run in the first and starting the second with two on and no outs, Aspeitia retired nine in a row before running into trouble in the fifth, when Franklin scored four runs.
“We’re extending him a bit more each time he goes out,” Hulin said. “He threw more pitches today than he did last time. He did get a little tired and he walked two guys in their big inning. In high school baseball, walks and errors are how a lot of teams score runs. We kind of helped them to rally back in a sense because that’s how they got the bases loaded before they got a knock.”
Andres Martinez worked the final two innings for the save, giving up two hits.
“I’m extremely proud of Andres coming in and closing it out,” Hulin said. “He hasn’t really pitched in the past for us. He’s a senior and he wants to help the team in any way possible.”
Martinez, the Bronchos’ regular catcher, played left field against Montwood after catching the first three games of the tournament. He spent five innings behind the plate against Franklin before moving to the mound.
“I felt pretty good, but now I’m ready to go to bed,” said Martinez, who faced the heart of the Franklin order in the seventh. “I just tried to pitch to contact and let my defense work for me. I let them hit it and my defense made the outs.”
Also the Bronchos’ leadoff hitter, Martinez got things started in the first with a ground-rule double and scored when Munoz hit into a fielder’s choice. Odessa High took the lead for good when Bo J. Martinez tripled in a run and scored on a double play, then Munoz connected for his grand slam in the fourth.
“I was just wanting to get my teammates a run, get a simple base hit,” Munoz said. “I saw that fastball coming in and just had to drive that ball.”
The blast was Odessa High’s third homer of the weekend and second grand slam. Bobby Salinas had a slam in Friday’s victory over El Paso Eastwood.
“We’re a good hitting team, but all we want to do is get base hits and help our team out,” Munoz said.
Against Montwood, Odessa High gave up six runs in the third and five in the seventh. The Bronchos scored both their runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Bo J. Martinez and a bases-loaded walk by Andres Martinez.
Tony Carrasco worked three innings in taking the loss.
EP Montwood 12, Odessa High 2
Montwood…… 006 100 5 — 12 9 0
Odessa High. 000 002 0 — 2 6 1
Eduardo Crosby, Luis Garcia (5), Robert Loya (6) and Gabino Cortez. Tony Carrasco, Hervey Nieto (4), Charles McClure (7) and Bobby Salinas. W — Crosby. L — Carrasco. 2B — Montwood: Andrew Garcia, Jesus Campa, Crosby, Chris Saucedo; OHS: Andres Martinez, Jordan Munoz. HR — Montwood: Eric Villagomez.
Records — El Paso Montwood 11-1, Odessa High 8-2.
Odessa High 7, EP Franklin 5
Franklin……… 100 040 0 — 5 6 1
Odessa High. 120 400 x — 7 4 4
Christian Montes de Oca, Levi Page (4) and Damian Gutierrez, Cameron Crotte (5). Damian Aspeitia, Andres Martinez (6) and A.Martinez, Bobby Salinas (6). W — Aspeitia. L — Montes de Oca. Sv. — A.Martinez. 2B — Franklin: Montes de Oca, Andrew Prieve; OHS: A.Martinez. 3B — OHS: Bo J. Martinez. HR — OHS: Jordan Munoz.
Records — El Paso Franklin 8-5, Odessa High 9-2.