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BERNALILLO — A big turning point in the season for the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team occurred about two weeks ago.
Los Alamos, which had struggled through a tough nondistrict schedule to that point, played three of its best games of the season at a tournament in Farmington. While Los Alamos went just 1-2 in the tournament, the team seemed to kick its game up a notch.
Should the Hilltoppers be looking to turn their fortunes around in 2011, they picked a good time to do it.
Wednesday in its District 2-4A opener, Los Alamos manufactured runs when it needed to, then got a monster shot courtesy of Jared Mang in its final at-bat to grab a 4-3 victory against the Bernalillo Spartans at Coach Dave Rostro Baseball Complex.
Mang, Los Alamos’ shortstop and No. 3 hitter in the order, worked the count to 3-1 in his favor, then crushed a fastball over the wall in near-straightaway center to break a 3-3 tie.
“I got a fastball belt-high,” said Mang, who as an eighth-grader has already established himself as a force in the Hilltopper lineup. “I was sitting fastball. I didn’t think he was going to throw another hook.”
Bernalillo pitcher Ryan Garcia, who had himself a good duel with Los Alamos pitcher JD Weiss Wednesday, made just one big mistake on the day, the fastball to Mang.
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