Wednesday, May 14, 2014 Page 3The Chronicle-News Trinidad, Colorado
By JD Droddy
Manager of the Triggers
Special to The Chronicle-News
Spring Training is over and the Trig-
gers’ first game is tonight in Raton against
the Osos. We will play the Osos tomorrow
night (Thursday) in our Home Opener at
Central Park. We hope to have a big turn-
out, so we can demonstrate to the players
and to the Pecos League that we have great
support in Trinidad.
Our Spring Training was a bit abbrevi-
have intra-squad games Sunday and Mon-
day. Mother Nature, however, had differ-
ent plans and put a chill on our intentions.
But it may have been a blessing in disguise,
because we were a little banged up, and the
extra rest should do us some good.
Among the injured is our projected ace
pitcher, Nick Rodesky. Nick reported to
camp suffering from tendonitis in his el-
bow and has not yet thrown a pitch. He will
miss at least one rotation. Hopefully, he will
be ready soon. Lefty reliever Dan Zlotnick
also hasn’t been able to pitch yet. He has a
strained oblique muscle but is expected to
be back soon. Rookie corner infielder Ja-
mie McMillan has a mildly strained ham-
string, but he will see limited action as long
as it doesn’t get worse.
This year’s Triggers team is loaded with
power hitters, especially from the left side
of the plate. Pitcher Adam Barry won the
triple crown in hitting during the Pecos
Spring League and is expected to see lots of
action on the field when he isn’t pitching.
McMillan, veteran corner infielder Will
Leonard, outfielder/infielder Mike Morris,
infielder Jeff Lucero, catcher Nick Bunce,
pitcher Ben Baker, outfielder Johnny Bl-
adel and outfielder Jake Summers all have
tremendous power. Summers is also serv-
ing as the Triggers’ hitting coach,
Our defense should be very good.
Among the defenders is rookie third base-
man Blake May, who won two consecutive
national Gold Glove Awards for NCAA Di-
The pitching situation is still in a bit
of flux. Because of the abbreviated Spring
Training, we are still sorting a few things
out. The first two starters have been an-
nounced. Hard-throwing lefty Kevin Mc-
Govern will start tonight in Raton. Righty
Daniel Sharp will start the Home Opener
tomorrow night. Two of our best relievers
from last year are back. Long reliever Mike
Mullen and closer Zach Leitten are ready
for duty. We have several other pitchers
who are expected to make big contributions
Overall, the picture is bright. The league
office has informed me that the Triggers
are the overwhelming favorite to win the
Northern Division. That is all well and
good, but we must go out on the field, play
hard and smart, and make it happen. That
process starts tonight. We hope to see many
of our fans at the ballpark.
Trojan baseball team wins Region IX title
By Mike Salbato
Special to The Chronicle-News
The Trinidad State baseball team fought its way to the top
of Region IX this past weekend with tournament victories over
Northeastern, Lamar and Otero. The Trojans entered the tourna-
ment seeded third in the region. They rolled through the first two
games, however, before defeating Otero in extra innings to claim
the crown. The Region IX champs will now prepare for their trip to
districts later this week.
At the midpoint of the season, things were looking bleak as a
things around, however, taking two games from Otero, splitting
with Lamar and sweeping McCook. The Trojans finished the regu-
lar season with a six-game winning streak and a 31-24 record. They
then had to wait almost two weeks to start the playoffs.
“We finished the season playing pretty well,” said second-year
coach Matthew Torrez. “I was asked a couple of times if the 10-day
layoff would affect us. Some people may look at that as a negative,
but I took it the opposite way. I felt that it would give us time to get
healthy and be at full strength for the playoffs.”
At the regional tournament the Trojans did what they do best
— get the ball in play and hustle to make teams make mistakes. In
the first game against NJC, the Trojans stole seven bases, keeping
the Plainsmen off balance. TSJC won the back-and-forth affair, 6-4.
Alex Rogers pitched seven beautiful innings, striking out five to
pick up the win, and Julian Moroyoqui tossed two perfect innings
to earn the save. TSJC leadoff man Julien Belanger finished with
three hits and a stolen base.
Game two only lasted seven innings as the Trojans rolled past
regular-season champion Lamar, 8-0. Eric Bussey was dominant
on the hill, giving up only four hits while striking out five in the
complete-game shutout. Colby Schrade scored two runs, including
a solo home run, to pace the Trojan offense.
The title game went to extra innings, but the Trojans finally put
away the fourth-seeded Rattlers, 9-6. Moroyoqui picked up the win
in relief. Drake Duncan, Wesley Aguilar and Christian Benitez all
hit bombs for Trinidad.
“Our kids went out and played aggressively,” noted Torrez.
“We were able to get extra bases and put pressure on the defense as
an offensive club. On the other side of the ball, we minimized our
errors, and the pitchers kept the walks to a minimum. I am very
proud of this group, as we had a chance in the middle of the season
to fold up tents. They kept pushing, and that adversity sent us on a
nice little end of the season run.”
Six Trojan players earned post-season honors. Belanger and
Dunkin were first-team All-Region selections, and Benitez, Bussey,
Max Broullaird and Michael Barrientos each earned second-team
honors. Coach Torrez was named Coach of the Year for Region IX.
The Trojans (34-24) will now head to the Western District Tour-
nament in Arizona. They will play Cochise College (34-26) in the
first round at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 15. This tournament is also
a double-elimination bracket, with the winner heading to Nation-
als in Grand Junction later this month.
“We have reached a goal our program has set and would like to
keep reaching for more,” said Torrez. “I speak for our whole pro-
gram when I say thank you to all the people that support our pro-
gram, and we hope that we have made you proud!”
Photo courtesy of David Barrack
The 2014 Region IX Baseball Champion TSJC Trojans celebrate their achievement.
TRINIDAD STATE JUNIOR COLLEGE
Photo courtesy of Kendra VanMatre
Lady Farmers receive
From left to right, Jordan Trujillo, Aspen Anderson, Bailee Jones
and Cydney Kreutzer received All-Conference honors for their
play for the Hoehne Farmers basketball team in the Santa Fe
League. Cydney and Aspen were also named to the All-State
team by the Colorado High School Activities Association, and
The Denver Post named Cydney to its All-State Team.
May is Motorcycle Safety
Special to The Chronicle-News
DRIVE SMART Las Animas Coun-
ty, a traffic safety coalition, wants to re-
mind motorists and motorcyclists alike
to “share the road” in order to help pre-
vent motorcycle crashes, deaths and in-
juries on our local roadways.
“Motorcyclists will be out in force as
the weather gets warmer, which is why
May is the perfect time for Motorcycle
Safety Awareness Month,” said Las
Animas County Sheriff James Casias, a
coalition member. “In 2012, 16 percent
of motor vehicle injuries involved mo-
torcyclists in Las Animas County. We
all need to be more aware of motorcy-
clists in order to save lives.”
National statistics show an alarm-
ing trend: in 2012, 4,957 motorcyclists
were killed in traffic crashes, a contin-
ued increase from 2010. Those deaths
account for 15 percent of the total high-
way fatalities that year. Injured motor-
cyclists also increased from 81,000 in
2011 to 93,000 in 2012.
Nationwide, helmet usage is on the
decline, dropping from 66 percent of
motorcyclists wearing helmets in 2011
to only 60 percent in 2012. The decrease
was most significant among motorcycle
passengers, decreasing from 64 percent
in 2011 to 46 percent in 2012. The Nation-
al Highway Traffic Safety Administra-
tion (NHTSA) estimates that 1,617 lives
were saved in 2011 because of proper
helmet usage, but another 701 lives
could have been saved if helmets had
Wearing a helmet is an important
way for a motorcyclist to stay safe, but
we all play a part “It’s up to all motor-
ists and motorcyclists to make our
roads safer,” said Sheriff Casias. “If all
road users shared the responsibility of
keeping our roadways safe by following
road signs, obeying speed limits and
always staying focused on the road…
deaths and injuries could be prevent-
He offered tips to drivers on how to
prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:
Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle,
its operator still has all the rights of the road
as any other motorist. Allow the motorcycle the
full width of a lane at all times.
Always signal when changing lanes or
merging with traffic.
If you see a motorcycle with a signal on,
be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-
canceling and could have been forgotten.
Always ensure that the motorcycle is turning
Check all mirrors and blind spots for mo-
torcycles before changing lanes or merging
with traffic, especially at intersections.
Always allow more following distance -
three to four seconds - when behind a motor-
cycle. This gives them more time to maneuver
or stop in an emergency.
Never drive distracted or impaired.
“Motorcyclists must also take precau-
tions to remain safe on the road,” added
Motorcyclists can increase their safe-
ty by following these steps:
Riders should take a certified motorcycle
safety education/training course.
Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other
Obey all traffic laws and be properly li-
Use hand and turn signals at every lane
change or turn.
Wear brightly colored clothes and reflec-
tive tape to increase visibility.
Ride in the middle of the lane where you
will be more visible to drivers.
Never ride distracted or impaired.
“By following basic safety rules, we
can all help to prevent crashes,” conclud-
ed Sheriff Casias. “Our message is for all
drivers and riders: Share the responsi-
bility of keeping our roads safe - always
share the road.” For more information
on motorcycle safety, visit: www.nhtsa.