Frackers return to winning ways

After suffering their first loss, the Farmington Frackers emphatically returned to their winning ways on Saturday with two run-rule wins over the UBA Diplomats (Las Vegas, Nevada). The Frackers offense led the onslaught with 24 total hits, outscoring their opponent 13-5 and 15-3 in the two contests.

In the first game of the day, Dominic DeMarco, Larry Leitha, Charlie Bartlett, Jesse Becton, Logan Klunder and Zane Phelps all tallied two hits, while Wyatt Kelly went the distance on the mound, striking out seven in five innings of work.

In the nightcap, the Frackers capitalized on errors and walks from the Diplomats before Jesse Becton blasted a three-run home run over the left field wall. Jalen Nakai and Colby Diggs took care of pitching duties for the Frackers, combining for five innings and giving up only two earned runs on three hits.

The Frackers face the Diplomats again on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Ricketts Park for the final matchup of the series.

DT: KC alum Nakai to start for Frackers

By Karl Schneider
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Kirtland native and Kirtland Central alum Jalen Nakai will start on the mound for the Farmington Frackers in the nightcap of Saturday’s doubleheader against the Nevada Jays.

Saturday’s start will be the second for Nakai, who graduated from KC in 2013 and spent the past four seasons playing for Bacon College in Muskogee, Okla. He started on the mound for the Frackers last weekend against the California Jays, and after a shaky first inning settled in and found a comfort zone on the mound he frequented as a high schooler playing against Farmington High and Piedra Vista.

“I was nervous at first, but after I noticed how good of a defense I have behind me it was time to go to work,” Nakai said.

Nakai struggled with his command and fell behind in the count, and gave up a couple runs in the first two innings of last weekend’s game against California.

“He wasn’t getting ahead early. When you go down 2-0 or 3-1, it makes it really hard to be successful,” Frackers’ pitching coach Alex DeAngeles said. “When he started getting 0-1 and 1-2 counts he started to get the swings we want instead of the swings the hitters are looking for. It’s not like he all of the sudden just got better, he just figured out how to get ahead, and when you get the first strike under your belt you got a chance to succeed.”

After settling down following the first couple innings, Nakai started hitting his spots. Keeping California’s bats quiet, Nakai became the beneficiary of the Frackers’ explosive offense that cracked double-digit runs in four of the six games against California.

The Frackers went on to win that game 12-4.

Staying composed on the mound Saturday night will be key for Nakai to pick up a win. The Nevada Jays, based out of Las Vegas, appear to possess a more boisterous lineup than their California counterpart and posted eight runs on 14 hits in Thursday night’s series opener against the Frackers.

In the days leading up to Saturday’s game, Nakai and DeAngeles have been focusing on fine tuning the right-hander’s mechanics and fixing little hitches in his windup that led to some of the control issues last week.

“In his bullpens this week we talked a lot about tempo to the plate. He gets going a little bit quick and his leg lift, he often starts going toward the plate before getting his leg all the way up to his balance point,” DeAngeles said. “And we talked a lot more about having a plan for each pitch and not getting ahead of himself.”

The first of Saturday’s games is scheduled to start at 4 p.m. at Ricketts Park. Nakai’s nightcap is scheduled for 6:30.


Frackers walk off, stay unbeaten

The Farmington Frackers capped Friday night with a walk-off win against the Nevada Jays after Charlie Bartlett hit a two-RBI double to the left-center gap with two outs.

Trailing 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh inning, Bartlett came to the plate for his first at bat of the night with two runners on. He promptly launched a laser to the wall that scored both Andrew Pratt and Alex DeVito. The Frackers and their fans celebrated the teams continued win streak, which now stands at nine straight victories to open the team’s inaugural season.

At the plate, the Frackers were led by DeVito who went 3-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Luke Laurita, Zane Phelps and Andrew Pratt all saw action on the mound for the Frackers, holding the Jays to just seven hits.

The Frackers are now 9-0 after also winning the first game of Friday night. The Frackers used a 10-run third inning to put away the Jays 12-5. Matt Martin had two hits in the inning, a single and a home run. Logan Klunder, Jeff Deimling, Jesse Becton, Dominic DeMarco and Eddy Vasquez also had singles in the inning. Vasquez, Deimling and Martin led the Frackers with two hits each in the game.

Taed Haydinger and Sean Maher managed the pitching duties for the Frackers during the first game. Maher gave up no earned runs in his four innings of work and struck out three.

The Frackers again take on the Jays in a doubleheader on Saturday. Game times are slated for 4 and 6:30 p.m.

7-0 Frackers continue winning ways

The Farmington Frackers extended their win streak to seven straight wins on Thursday night against the Nevada Jays. The 23-8 win moved the Frackers to 7-0 overall.

The Frackers offense continued to steamroll opponents, scoring seven runs in the second inning. The Frackers fell behind 5-0 early in the game but took the lead in the bottom of the second inning behind singles from Dominic DeMarco, Charlie Bartlett, Andrew Pratt, Riley Peterson and Brian Kiser.

The Frackers added six runs in the fourth, four in the fifth and six in the sixth. Alex DeVito and Jeff Deimling both blasted home runs in the game.

On the mound, Larry Leitha started the game for the Frackers before Anthony Mayorga came on in relief and gave up only two hits in three and two-thirds innings.

The Frackers take on the Nevada Jays tonight in a double header with games starting at 5:30 and 8 p.m.

Frackers sweep opening series

The Farmington Frackers completed the sweep of their historic opening series against the California Jays Montano with a 9-0 win on Sunday.
The Frackers moved to 6-0 with the win behind the arm of David Kanada, a University of Houston Cougar who threw four of the game’s five innings, striking out four and allowing only one hit.
Charlie Bartlett, Jesse Becton and Austin Bell all had two hits on the day, while Bell recorded three RBI as well.

5-0 Frackers continue win streak

The first ever collegiate baseball team in Farmington history remained undefeated through its first five games after defeating the California Jays twice on Saturday. The Frackers are now 5-0 and have outscored their opponent 42-17.

In the first game of the day, the Frackers offense was led by New Mexico Junior College outgoing sophmore and UNM-bound Larry Leitha who went 3-4 with three RBIs and Eddy Vasquez, a New Mexico Junior College product, who went 2-2 also with three RBIs. The game ended in the sixth inning after the run-rule went into effect at 12-4. Jalen Nakai, a Farmington native and a junior at Bacone College in Muskogee, Okla., started the game for the Frackers, going four and a third innings in the no decision.

The Frackers didn’t slow down in the second game, which featured at least one hit from eight of nine starting players, winning 9-0 in five innings. Charlie Bartlett, who just completed his freshman year at the University of Houston, and Andrew Pratt, a commit to Lubbock Christian University in Lubbock, Texas., each homered in the game, while Alex DeVito chipped in three hits in three trips to the dish.


DT: Vasquez emerges as Frackers’ fan favorite

Story by Karl Schneider
Photo by Jon Austria 
The Daily Times 

FARMINGTON — After just a few games played by the Farmington Frackers, a fan favorite already has begun to emerge in the form of Eddy Vasquez.

As the smallest guy on the field at about 5-foot-9 and 155 pounds, fans seem drawn to the team’s shortstop and leadoff hitter, rooting for a David going against many Goliaths.

And because he’s very good at what he does.

Vasquez grabbed the fans’ attention on the first at-bat of the club’s existence, driving a ball over the right-field wall at Ricketts Park Thursday night. The solo shot took away any pressure the Frackers felt coming into the opener, other than the fact that the rest of the team was trying to match Vasquez by swinging for the fence the rest of the night.

“Everyone saw Eddy go long ball, so that’s what they tried to do — hit the long ball,” Frackers’ coach Jared Holley said of Thursday’s game.

Vasquez followed Thursday’s performance with a four-for-four outing in the opener of Friday’s doubleheader against the California Jays. And again, the rest of the Frackers followed Vasquez’s lead, piling up 17 hits on the way to a 10-4 victory.

“My job is to set the tone for the team,” Vasquez said. “As the leadoff, I’m supposed to set the tone and be a spark plug. That’s what I’m there for and trying to do.”

Through the Frackers’ first three games of the season, Vasquez is six for 11 with three runs batted in and four runs scored.

Vasquez, a product of Rio Rancho High School, spent the last two seasons at New Mexico Junior College. He hit .306 in 53 games as a sophomore in 2017, but with his eligibility at NMJC done, Vasquez finds himself without a team for his final two years of college eligibility.

He came into the summer hoping a strong season with the Frackers might garner enough attention to land him on a college roster next season. The Frackers’ coaching staff is aware of his situation and is working to get him with a club, and after just a few games against the Jays at Ricketts Park, the Jays’ coaching staff has been talking to Vasquez about helping him find a team, as well.

Securing a spot in someone’s lineup next season is at the top of Vasquez’s list of goals for the summer, but he’s not going to stress over where he might end up. He’s going to keep playing the game he loves, try to keep the fans on the edge of their seat and embrace the dozens of young kids who swarm him when he walks off the field, calling, “Eddy. Eddy, can I have your autograph?”

“It’s been fun. It’s humbling. This is my first experience like this, and I really like it a lot,” Vasquez said. “I don’t want to get too ahead of myself. I want to stay relaxed.”

Frackers move to 3-0

The Farmington Frackers moved to a perfect 3-0 after handedly defeating the California Jay Montano in games 2 and 3 of the series. The Frackers offense was firing on all cylinder and scored double digit runs in both games, winning 10-4 and 14-3.

In Game 1, the Frackers took a commanding lead in the second inning behind an 8-run inning that saw 12 batters come to the plate. The home team collected nine hits in the inning, highlighted by a homerun from Austin Bell. The Frackers added two runs in the fourth inning on a Andrew Pratt bomb and an RBI single from Zane Phelps to score Austin Bell. Eddy Vasquez was a perfect 4-4 at the plate, finishing the game with a quartet of singles.

The second inning was a doozy for the Frackers again the night cap. The team scored 10 runs on nine hits including a home run from Dominic DeMarco and a triple from Larry Leitha, his first of two triples on the night. Leitha finished the game 3-4 and two other Frackers, Alex DeVito and Jeff Diemling added three hits as well.

Tead Heydinger and Luke “The Nuke” Laurita took the wins in Game 1 and Game 2 respectively.

DT: Frackers set bar high with thrilling opener

By Karl Schneider
The Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Frackers’ debut went about as well as anyone could have hoped for Thursday night at Ricketts Park, as the new collegiate summer league baseball team thrilled the fans in attendance with a walk-off win in the bottom of the seventh inning to top the California Jays 7-6.

The game featured a bit of everything, including strong pitching from the Frackers’ Larry Leitha, fielding gems and an array of power hitting with the two teams combining for five home runs in the game.

“First of all, we couldn’t have had a better game. Led the game off with a home run, then a crazy steal to win the game at the end. For a baseball fan, that’s perfect. I’m pleased. I think it was good,” said Richard Neely, the president of the American Amateur Baseball Congress and one of the leaders in bringing the Frackers to Farmington. “It was a good show. A lot of home runs. The players were excited. They were saying how excited they were to play here this summer and said how the ball jumps. They can’t believe it.”

The only thing missing from the night was a large crowd. Neely estimated 500 fans showed up for the opener, but he said he expected the Thursday night crowd to be sparse and the smallest of the weekend-long series between the two teams.

Two Farmington natives started for the Frackers in the opener. Matt Martin started at second base and hit in the two hole, while Logan Klunder was at third and batted eighth. Both are Piedra Vista alums.

“It’s awesome,” Martin said of playing at Ricketts Park again. “I’m glad I got to come back and play here. It’s more than you could ask for with all home games this season.”

The game couldn’t have started any better for the Frackers. After they retired the Jays in order in the top of the first inning, Eddy Vasquez, originally from Rio Rancho, led off the bottom of the frame with a home run over the right field wall.

The only thing missing from the night was a large crowd. Neely estimated 500 fans showed up for the opener, but he said he expected the Thursday night crowd to be sparse and the smallest of the weekend-long series between the two teams.

Two Farmington natives started for the Frackers in the opener. Matt Martin started at second base and hit in the two hole, while Logan Klunder was at third and batted eighth. Both are Piedra Vista alums.

“It’s awesome,” Martin said of playing at Ricketts Park again. “I’m glad I got to come back and play here. It’s more than you could ask for with all home games this season.”

The game couldn’t have started any better for the Frackers. After they retired the Jays in order in the top of the first inning, Eddy Vasquez, originally from Rio Rancho, led off the bottom of the frame with a home run over the right field wall.

Staked to a 5-3 lead, Bayfield, Colo., native Zane Phelps came in for the save opportunity for the hosts in the top of the seventh, but he struggled with his command and allowed a three-run home run that gave the Jays their first lead of the game at 6-5.

The Frackers tied the game in the bottom of the frame when Alex Devito, from Northridge, Calif., hit an RBI single to put runners on the corners with two outs.

With Daniel Herrera, a 2014 Volcano Vista graduate now playing at the University of New Mexico, representing the winning run on third base, Frackers coach Jared Holley called for a double steal. Devito took off for second, and when the Jays’ pitcher made a move to catch Devito stealing, Herrera sprinted for home.

The throw to the plate was on time, but Herrera somehow avoided the tag, dancing around the Jays catcher to get to the far side of the plate and sneaking his foot in for the winning run.

“Dan left a little bit late, and the throw to home was on time, the catcher was just in front of the plate. I had a good view — the catcher was about 2 feet in front of the plate, so Dan was able to skedaddle on around him,” Holley said.

If the Frackers continue to put on a show like they did Thursday night, the scattered crowds should become more and more dense. And based on the reactions Neely received from fans at the opener, there’s a good chance it could happen by the end of the weekend.

“I’ve had probably half a dozen texts since the game ended,” Neely said Thursday night. “People saying it was fun, it was clean, their kids could run around and have a good time. That’s what we want.”

Frackers win on Opening Day in dramatic fashion

FARMINGTON — The Farmington Frackers, the city’s first-ever Stan Musial collegiate baseball team, started its inaugural season with a win and they did it in dramatic fashion. With runners on first and third and two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Daniel Herrera, a catcher from Albuquerque, scored the winning run on a double steal. The ball initially beat Herrera to the plate but he was able to dance and jump around and over California Jays’ catcher. He was called safe and the team celebrated its historic win.

Prior to the seventh inning, the Frackers scored five runs on three home runs. Eddy Vasquez, Matt Martin and Dominic DeMarco all rounded the bases on home runs to the right side of the outfield fence. Vasquez, the Frackers’ lead-off hitter and shortstop from Rio Rancho, sparked the offense with a lead-off home run in the bottom of the first inning. He finished the day 1-3 with two runs scored.

Larry Leitha, who is headed to the University of New Mexico in the fall, went 6 and a third innings for the Frackers, giving up all six Jays runs.

The Frackers will waste no time attempting to start their first ever winning streak – they will hit the field against the California Jays again on Friday, June 9 at 5:30 and 8 p.m., at Ricketts Park.


Photo by Prime Time Pics.