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Baseball: LA splits twinbill at Espanola Valley

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By Mike Cote

ESPAÑOLA — Talk about a pressure situation.In game one of a District 2AAAA doubleheader Saturday, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers called on sophomore Scott Berkebile to get them out of a jam.Berkebile, who is in his first season with the squad after moving to Los Alamos from Canyon Creek, Ariz., was handed the ball in relief of Jeremy Kasik in the bottom of the fifth of a crucial game.But the young pitcher was more than up to the challenge. In three innings, Berkebile fanned seven batters and held the Sundevils scoreless in the sixth and seventh innings to give the Hilltoppers the game one decision, 12-10.In the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, played largely under the lights due to a late start time, the Hilltoppers fell, 6-4. The end of the game was marred with controversy, as a dropped third strike gave third baseman Michael Helland an apparent base, but after a lengthy discussion with both managers, Helland was ruled to have given up on the play and returned to the dugout although he never appeared to leave the field of play.Berkebile, a hard-throwing right-hander who struggled in his starting spot early in the season, went to Los Alamos manager Mike Gill and requested that he instead be moved to the ’Topper bullpen prior to the start of the 2AAAA season.“As a starter, I don’t know what it was.


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