Baseball: Home run derby to open tournament

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By Mike Cote

The state Juniors All-Star Little League tournament is adopting at least one aspect of Major League Baseball’s All-Star fiesta this year.

To kick off the state tournament, which will be played at Bomber Field and Senior Field on North Mesa starting Friday, two players from each of the nine squads will be selected to take part in a home run derby.

That derby will precede the first two games of the tournament, one of which will pit the Los Alamos Junior All-Stars against Raton.

Friday’s home run derby will start at 5 p.m., with the Los Alamos-Raton game and a game against Westgate and Alamogordo Rotary starting at 6:30 p.m.

The Los Alamos All-Stars rolled to a win in the District 1 tournament, played in White Rock earlier this month. Los Alamos topped Pojoaque to clinch the district title and a spot in the state tournament.

Austin Aslin, who pitched brilliantly in the District 1 final, is scheduled to take the mound for Friday’s opener. After that, however, the Los Alamos rotation gets a little muddy.

Michael Young, Los Alamos’ second starter, has a strained right knee and will probably be unable to pitch throughout the tournament.

Young may start at shortstop Friday, however, because his bat is one of the most valuable on the team.

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