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Baseball: County teams advance in T of C

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By Mike Cote

At least one team from Los Alamos is guaranteed to advance to the District 1 Juniors Tournament of Champions final.

Both the Los Alamos Red Sox and the Los Alamos Padres advanced into the semifinals of the Tournament of Champions, which started Friday and continues through Wednesday at Virchow Field in White Rock.

The Padres were 11-1 winners over the Santa Fe Titans and the Red Sox topped Pojoaque 16-5 to advance to Tuesday’s semifinal.

The White Rock Rangers, the eighth seed won their tournament opener Friday night 23-7 over ninth-seeded Santa Fe Metro. They played in Saturday’s late game, the result of which wasn’t available at press time.

The single-elimination tournament continues with a semifinal game between Santa Fe’s Rockies and Saturday night’s late winner.

The Padres and Red Sox will play their semifinal game on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The winners of the two semifinal games will face off at 6 p.m. Wednesday for the tournament crown.

Los Alamos Padres 11, Santa Fe Titans 1 (6 innings)

The Padres and Titans kept things close until the fifth inning when the Padres rallied for four runs. The Padres would close up the game in the sixth with three more runs.

The Padres, the seventh seed in the tournament, held a 2-1 lead until the bottom of the fourth, when Michael Young and Kyle Bramlett connected for doubles, pushing the Padres’ lead to 4-1.

In the fifth, the Padres batted around, with Young picking up another double following a double by Zeke Zumbro.

Both Young and Zumbro had big outings in Saturday morning’s game. Young collected three extra-base hits, including a bases-clearing triple in the sixth.

Zumbro, meanwhile, had a stellar defensive game to aid Bramlett, the Padres’ starting pitcher. In the top of the fourth with the Padres still holding onto their 1-run lead, Zumbro recorded two big outs on slow-rolling balls, the first he bare-handed to get the runner by a step and a half.

Bramlett went the distance, allowing just one hit by the Titans in the first inning — the only inning in which they scored — and struck out seven batters.

The Titans were the second seed heading into the tournament.

Los Alamos Red Sox 16, Pojoaque 5 (6 innings)

The Red Sox scored their runs in bunches Saturday against Pojoaque to advance to Tuesday’s semifinal against the Padres.

The third-seeded Red Sox pushed four runs across in the second inning, three in the fourth, four in the fifth and four more in the sixth to close out Pojoaque in six innings Saturday.

Pojoaque, the tournament’s six seed, actually jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning before Red Sox starting pitcher Steven Williams settled in and blanked the offense for the next three innings.

After Pojoaque, the home team, picked up its two runs in the home half of the first, the Red Sox answered with four RBI hits in the top of the second. Dustin Taylor doubled in a run, then, with two outs, Ryan Kniss singled in Taylor, Austin Aslin knocked in Kniss on a hit-and-run play, and Alan Keeler doubled in Aslin.

Taylor finished the game 2-for-4 and scored two runs. Kniss and Aslin were both 2-for-3 at the plate and combined for seven scores.

Kniss, Aslin and Keeler all reached base to start the fourth inning and each came around, and the rout of Pojoaque was on.

Santa Fe Rockies 12, Santa Fe Lions 2 (6 innings)

The Rockies, who will play Monday’s tournament semifinal game, jumped out to a 3-0 lead early in Saturday’s game and never looked back.

The Rockies pushed another three runs across in the third and closed the game out via the 10-run rule in the bottom of the sixth with Xavier Archuleta’s RBI single.

Steven Montoya and Javier Carbajal combined to go 5-for-5 at the plate to lead the Rockies to the win. Carbajal had a double and scored three runs and Montoya added another run.

Center fielder Adam Fishbein had the only three hits of the game for the Lions.

The Rockies are the four seed in the tournament, while the Lions were fifth.