Socorro High School baseball is getting hot at just the right time. The Warriors have won four of their last five games and have already doubled last year’s win record.

The Warriors may be 4-7 on the year, but coach Lawrence Montano quickly points out it’s still too early in Socorro’s rebuilding process to measure success by wins and losses.

“From where we were last year, we’re successful. These guys understand the game. They’re hitting and fielding; if they had trouble catching, they’re now catching. As far as their development goes, we’re successful in that manner, even though our record doesn’t show it yet,” Montano said. “Then the people that they’re becoming — we have a kid out there he’s come a long way. He was really shy when he first came to us. Now he’s opened up, and those things are success to me. We’re teaching them to open up, and they can go out there and have fun.”

Having fun is a big switch from last year when a single inning could derail the Warriors and keep them off track for the remainder of a game or doubleheader.

How to flip that switch is a question asked by high school coaches across the state, so it took a bit of soul-searching between Montano and his assistants, Moises Castillo and Jonathon Baca.

It was decided that it was time for the team and their coaches to do a soul-searching together and determine the Warriors’ future direction.

“We told the boys we’re tired of losing. Where are you guys? Are you guys hungry? Do you guys want this? Let’s go out there and have fun. It doesn’t matter if we win or lose. As long as we have fun,” Montano said.

The Warriors took the talk to heart, and when Socorro made a trip to the Las Vegas baseball tournament, it came away with its first two wins of the season. It bounced back from a loss to Silver with a pair of home wins against Mescalero Apache on April 5.

Socorro’s also lighting up the scoreboard with 49 runs over that 5-game stretch.
Having fun is one of many reasons coach Montano’s team enjoys success. He’s listened to his players’ desires and made the best choices regarding the talent he has on hand.
Junior hurler David Gutierrez Jr. told Montano he wasn’t as comfortable as a starter as he was a closer. His coach paid closer attention and decided to change how he presented his pitchers.

The Warriors will now depend on junior Cenyon Scarborough, freshman Joseph Rivera, and senior Angel Perez and, depending on the situation, bring in Gutierrez.
It will present a curveball for opponents because Socorro’s starters are right-handed, and Gutierrez is a southpaw. This means different speeds and sizes (Gutierrez is the biggest player on the team) and a totally different look for batters.
The numbers back the move (last five game stats), with Gutierrez ringing up 25 strikeouts and Scarborough setting down 24 batters. Both players are also tearing it up at the plate, where Scarborough is hitting .448 with 13 hits. Gutierrez has a .323 average and knocked in a team-high eight RBI.
Shortstop Alex Amaro has the hottest bat with a .500 average, and he’s manufacturing run production with a team-leading 13 steals. Perez and Jacob Angel are on his heels, with 11 swiped bases. Freshman Rylan Hicks is also making waves with a .348 average, eight hits and three doubles.

David Gutierrez Jr., Manuel Torres, Jacob Angel, Alex Amaro, Angel Perez, Joseph Rivera, Rylan Hicks, Cenyon Scarborough, Issac Vega, Cullen Baxter, Gabriel Giron, Brendan Reichenbach, Sebastian Mercado Jr., Miguel Armendariz.