Baseball: LA Juniors roll to District 1 crown

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By The Staff

The Los Alamos Junior All-Stars capped a dominant run through the District 1 tournament Thursday by blasting the Pecos All-Stars 25-1 to capture the district title.

With Thursday’s win, Los Alamos will now advance to the state tournament, which starts July 24 in Deming.

Los Alamos rolled through the District 1 tournament, outscoring its three opponents 51-4 in its three victories.

“Generally, they performed well,” Los Alamos manager Bill Cooper said. “We hit the ball real well. We fielded the ball real well.”

Los Alamos opened up the tournament by topping cross-county rival White Rock 14-1, then downed Pecos 12-2 in the semifinal round.

Pecos survived an elimination game Wednesday but had a depleted pitching staff, which Los Alamos took advantage of Thursday, closing Pecos out in just five innings.

Steven Williams started the game for Los Alamos, going three innings and allowing just the one run.

Henry Steinkamp, who had a monster tournament including a 5-for-5 offensive performance — four extra-base hits — in the semifinals against Pecos, threw a scoreless fourth and fifth innings to seal the victory.

Cooper spoke highly of shortstop Daniel Dunning’s defensive performance and that of catcher Kyle Bramlett, who did a solid job in reining in the hard-throwing Williams’ offerings.

As a unit, Los Alamos went 18-1 on the season.

“We’re very happy,” Cooper said. “This group has been together a long time. They went to state as 9-10s and 11-12s, the core of them.”

Majors All-Stars

The county’s two All-Star squads will go head-to-head in an elimination game tonight at Byers Field.

The White Rock All-Stars will host the Los Alamos All-Stars for the right to advance to the District 1 tournament final. Game time is scheduled for 6 p.m.

White Rock came back from a first round loss to stay alive in the bottom bracket, while Los Alamos fell Thursday to Española Valley.

The winner of tonight’s game will take on Española Valley starting Saturday. Española Valley must win just one of the two remaining tournament games to clinch the district title, while its opponent must sweep the two games.