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  • Holly Wildcats Return the Bulk of Their 2A State Runner-up Team from 2022
Holly celebrates during the 2A State Baseball Championship game in 2022 when Andre Salgado tied the game to send it into extra innings. The Wildcats finally lost the heartbreaker, 4-3, to Merino.
WildcatPridePhoto.com/Brad Simon

Holly Wildcats Return the Bulk of Their 2A State Runner-up Team from 2022

By Betsy Barnett

March 22, 2023

With Holly down 3-1 in the 2022 state championship baseball game, then junior Andre Salgado belted a strong triple with one aboard that the speedster extended into a homerun tying the game against Merino in the top of the 7th inning, 3-3. The two teams went toe-to-toe for three more innings before the Rams finally got one across in the bottom of the 10th inning winning the state championship and ending Holly’s hope of a back-2-back title.

It was a classic contest where the defending state champions from 2021 did all they could to defend their title. That loss was a hard one to take and the players on the 2022 Wildcat team have not forgotten how much it hurt. They only lost two players off that team, two important players, but they are back and loaded to the hilt with 22 strong on this year’s roster.

Offensively, Holly will look to their very talented upperclassmen group of juniors and seniors to get the job done this year.

Junior Dylan Tamayo was second on the team with a .444 batting average a year ago.

Senior Julian Terrazas was third with a .418 batting average. Terrazas led in on base percentage at a .610 clip, home runs with 8, stolen bases with 24, runs with 40, RBIs with 29, and triples with 3. Terrazas also held the best ERA from the mound at an impressive 0.81.

Senior Andre Salgado, the guy who tied the championship game up in regulation, is also back. Last year he had a homerun, 18 stolen bases, 33 runs, and 3 triples leading in all those categories. He is also a key hurler for the Wildcats from the mound with a 2.80 ERA.

Other players who return and will be key to the Wildcats’ success include Roque Torres (.500), Devin Eaton (28 RBIs), and Truman King (8 triples) who was the starting catcher a year ago.

Other players who will see time in the season include senior Reuben Maldonado, junior Sean Vazquez, and sophomore Nick Vazquez.

Other sophomores on the team include Dominic Torres, Graci Morlan, Jacob Noriega, Keaton Larrew, Francisco Saenz, Lucian Gionnano, Damian Molina, and Aureonna Diaz. Freshmen on the team are Orlando Romero, Joe Koditivatikanti, Jesse Pizarro, and Mad Neugebauer.

Holly got a big start on the rest of the area teams as they have already played three games including two games on Friday, March 17th, and a third one on Saturday, the 18th of March. After the dust settled on that weekend, they now sit with a 1-2 early season record winning their season opener against Crowley County, 11-9, but losing to Monte Vista in the night cap on Friday, 8-4, and suffering another loss on Saturday to Limon, 10-3.

In the Crowley County game the Wildcats led 6-5 after five innings and then looked to break things open scoring 5 runs in the sixth. But the Chargers answered with 4 of their own in the bottom of the 7th to give the Wildcats a major scare. Luckily, they were able to get the third out before anymore damage could happen.

Terrazas went 4-for-4 at the plate scoring 4 runs, and racking up 2 RBIs on 1 double and 1 triple. The senior also stole 2 bases.

King went 3-for-4 scoring 1 run and pounding out 4 RBIs by utilizing 2 doubles. Nick Vazquez batted .500 getting two hits, scoring one run, and giving out an RBI on two doubles.

In their first game the pitching got the job done by committee. Truman King got the win by going 2 innings of work, giving up 2 hits, and 2 earned runs. He would walk 2 and strike out 6 batters.

Devin Eaton was the workhorse in the middle part of the game working through 4 innings and giving up 6 hits, 3 earned runs, walking one and striking out 4. Roque Torres got the Save in one inning of work.

In the next game of the day with Monte Vista Holly pounded out 10 hits, but the MV group pulled the string on 16 hits. Another difference in the game was the 3 errors committed by the Wildcats. Holly would have a 4-3 lead until the bottom of the fourth inning when Monte Vista took the lead scoring 2 runs.

King went .500 at the plate scoring one run off a double. Salgado was also .500 with a triple. Dominic Torres was 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs, and Devin Eaton was 2-for-3 and scored 2 runs.

Holly used a total of five pitchers to finish the first long day of the season. Roque Torres would take the loss going 2 innings and giving up 2 hits, no runs, walking one and striking out 1.

Other pitchers who put in time on the mound in the Monte Vista game included Nick Vazquez (2.1), Andre Salgado (1.1), Devin Eaton (.2), and Francisco Saenz (.2).

The next day the Wildcats dropped a game to Limon in a big score of 10-3. Holly would out-hit the Badgers, 12-8, but errors plagued them again for the second day in a row with 3 committed in this contest.

The two teams were knotted at 1-1 until the bottom of the third when Limon strung together four innings of productivity. They would score 3 in the third, 2 in the fourth, and 3 in the fifth to control the contest. Holly answered with 2 in the top of the fifth but it was not near enough to make up the difference.

Nick Vazquez had a strong day at the plate going 4-for-4 and scoring 2 runs on a double and 2 stolen bases.

Salgado and Terrazas both went .500 on the day. Salgado scored one run. Terrazas had 2 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Eaton was also 2-for-4.

Terrazas would take the loss for the Wildcats on the mound as the hard-throwing senior went 4 innings giving up 4 hits, 2 earned runs, walked one and struck out a phenomenal 10 Badgers. Salgado worked through 1.2 innings giving up 5 hits, 4 earned runs, 1 walk and 2 strikeouts. Dominic Torres gave up one hit in .1 innings or work.

Limon junior Keon Bandy went the distance working through 7 innings and giving up 8 hits, 1 earned run, walked one and struck out 11.

Holly will now have some time to work through the wrinkles of the early season as they will next host their first league contest with La Veta on Tuesday, March 28. Then on Friday, March 31 they will travel to Stratton for a double header.

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