ALBUQUERQUE — The Texico Wolverines were looking for another blue trophy Saturday, but they came up a little short.
Senior right-hander Leo Gonzalez threw six innings of four hit ball and Loving handed Texico a 6-0 loss in the state Class 1A-2A championship game at Isotopes Park, home of Albuquerque’s Triple-A club.
Senior Sam Ponce had three hits and scored twice for the Falcons (19-3), seeded No. 2 in the tournament behind District 8 rival Eunice. The Wolverines (17-4-1), Class 2A state champions in 2008-09 in football and boys basketball, advanced to the finals with a come-from-behind 4-3 win over Eunice on Friday.
“We didn’t do much wrong (Friday),” said Texico coach Richard Luscombe, whose team came into the 16-team event seeded fourth. “It wasn’t that we played so bad today; we just couldn’t get anything strung back-to-back.”
Loving took the lead with a run in the first against Texico senior Brett Anderson, who went the distance on the mound. Anderson allowed six hits and four earned runs, with five walks and six strikeouts.
Anthony Hernandez hit a two-run single in the third, and the Falcons made it 4-0 with a run in the fourth. Texico’s best chance came in the top of the fifth when junior Seth Bailey hit a long drive to left with two on that was ruled to have hooked foul.
“The wind was blowing like crazy (from right to left),” Luscombe said. “I thought the ball went (inside) the (foul) pole, but it didn’t work out.”
Xavier Chacon hit a run-scoring single in the sixth and later came around to tally Loving’s final run.
“They’re a solid team; they just didn’t make very many mistakes,” Luscombe said of the Falcons. “But I really think we could play those guys 10 times and we’d split with them.”
Gonzalez allowed four singles with four walks and nine strikeouts before he was relieved by Chacon, who finished with a scoreless seventh.
It was Texico’s third trip to a state championship game in the past five seasons. The Wolverines won the then-1A title in 2005, and finished second to Gateway Christian in combined Class 1A-2A the following year.
Class 1A-2A state tournament
At Isotopes Park, Albuquerque
Loving 6, Texico 0
Texico 000 000 0 — 0 4 3
Loving 102 102 x — 6 6 2
Brett Anderson and T.J. Serna; Leo Gonzalez, Xavier Chacon (7) and Koby Lewis. W — Gonzalez. L — Anderson. Top hitters — Texico: Jonathan Hill 1-4; Anderson 1-4, Seth Bailey 1-4; Jose Posada 1-4. Loving: Sam Ponce 3-4, 2B, 2 runs; Anthony Hernandez 2-4, 2 RBIs; Chacon 1-4, RBI run. Records — Texico 17-4-1, Loving 19-3.