ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In this edition of the Sports Desk we start with baseball, as the MLB Season finally started in 2020 on Thursday. Two games are being played on Thursday, as the Washington Nationals host the New York Yankees and the Los Angeles Dodgers host the San Francisco Giants.
While there are just two games being played on Thursday, the MLB will have 14 games played on Friday and that will include the Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox. Albuquerque native and now Twins catcher, Mitch Garver is coming off of a Silver Slugger year in 2019 and has high hopes for 2020. Mitch has been very outspoken on COVID-19 and the shortened season heading into the 2020 schedule, and Garver says that when it comes down to the best team at the end of the year, it may rely on a little luck.
“I think you are going to see competitive teams, it’s a sprint, right? So, I do believe that the best teams will win and come out on top of their divisions, or whatever you want to call it, but it looks like whoever gets luckiest and has the least amount of sick players at the end could have a good chance of winning it,” said Mitch Garver.
Now to football. Valley High School graduate and now senior offensive lineman for UNM, Teton Saltes racked up another preseason award on Thursday, as he was named to the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List. Teton was just named to the Outland Trophy Watch List on Tuesday, and when it comes to the Wuerffel Trophy, Teton was a semifinalist for this award a year ago.
New Mexico State offensive lineman, Sage Doxtater was also named to the 2020 Wuerffel Trophy Watch List on Thursday. Doxtater is a 4-year starter for the Aggies and after having his year cut short in 2019, he will play out his redshirt senior season with NMSU.
Doxtater is a 6’7″ and 330 lb. offensive lineman and NMSU Head Coach Doug Martin has high hopes for him and the entire o-line coming into this season. “For the first time for us, the offensive line looks like a real strength, in terms of talent and depth both. We have Max Wilhite back, who is a redshirt freshman last year that started for us, and Jalen Guerrero has played a lot for us. Sage Doxtater is a 4-year starter at left tackle that’s going to be an NFL prospect,” said Doug Martin.
Now to soccer, New Mexico United is one day away from their match with El Paso. NM United and El Paso Locomotive FC will play on Friday night at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN+, but coming off of a 2-2 draw last week, NM United is hungry to get back in the win column.
NM United currently holds a 1-1-1 record and all of those games have been on the road. Away games may be the norm for this team moving forward, and that could prove to have a negative effect on NM United as all that travel can take a toll.
“Let’s embrace this time and let’s not look for any excuses. There are plenty of excuses that we can all look to right now and grab at. Home or away, we are going to go after it with the greatest resilience and the greatest effort we have,” said NM United Head Coach Troy Lesesne.
Now to MMA, Jackson and Wink-trained fighter Aaron Pico made weight on Thursday, ahead of his Bellator 242 bout with Chris Hatley Jr. Pico comes into this fight as the favorite, as he holds a 5-3 professional record with all of his wins coming by knockout.
Pico is known for his hands, but some critics don’t think his ground game is that strong. Pico’s opponent is a strong wrestler, but Pico is confident that he can get it done on the ground in this fight.
“A lot of people don’t realize that I was a world champion in wrestling and I was a three-time medalist in the world championships, I was an Olympic alternate. So, I think I know a few things about wrestling and grappling. So, I’ve got that covered and I just need to go out there relaxed and have fun,” said Aaron Pico. Bellator 242 main card bouts will begin at 8 p.m. on Friday on the Paramount Network.
Now let’s finish with Thursday’s edition of The Lost Season, as we profile St. Pius X student-athlete Ryan Schwaner. “Hi my name is Ryan Schwaner, I am a graduate of the 2020 class from St. Pius X High School. I played golf and was a part of the team that won Metro last year. Next year, I will be attending Regis University in Denver, Colorado, to play golf. When all this Spring sports and state championships were canceled due to COVID-19, I was truly devastated, because I felt that I missed out on the opportunity to show my hard work that I have put in the past four years, but at the end of the day, the NMAA has given me so many great friendships and memories, and for that, I will be forever grateful to them. So, thank you to high school sports,” said Ryan Schwaner.
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