Baseball: Toppers trounce Jaguars at home in five innings

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By The Staff

After a bumpy start to the District 2AAAA season, the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team may be getting on a roll.

The Hilltoppers followed up a sweep of the Española Valley Sundevils Saturday by rolling over the Capital Jaguars at Bomber Field Wednesday, 12-2.

Los Alamos closed out Wednesday’s home game in just five innings. Ryan Schleft’s first inning grand slam home run got the rout going, while starting pitcher Jon Thoma closed the contest out.

Wednesday’s win was a big one, bumping the Hilltoppers’ 2AAAA mark to 3-1 (7-10 on the season).

It’s a 2AAAA season that didn’t start off the way the Hilltoppers were hoping, getting their first scheduled district game postponed April 1 by weather — a postponement call that Los Alamos manager Mike Gill wasn’t pleased with — then falling last week to the Bernalillo Spartans 13-11.

But the road sweep against the Sundevils and Wednesday’s home win has Los Alamos feeling good about itself, albeit just a third of the way through the district season.

“We’re not quite halfway through” Gill said. “We’ve got a doubleheader Saturday. We’ll see how we’re sitting after that. Talk to me come Saturday. But if we come out of this weekend 5-1, that’s a good first half.”

Thoma went the full five innings Wednesday on the bump, giving up just three hits. He walked just two and allowed just the two earned runs while striking out three.

Gill said he was pleased to see that his pitchers have been throwing strikes, noting that Los Alamos issued six walks and hit a pair of batters in the loss to Bernalillo.

Schleft, who is having a noteworthy season offensively batting mostly out of the six-hole has sparked some streaky hitting for the Hilltoppers toward the bottom of their order. Schleft drove in six runs Wednesday going 2-for-3 at the plate. Jack Russell also went 2-for-3, hitting out of the seven slot, and scored a pair of runs.

Adam Eberhart had a double and drove in three runs to aid the cause.

Wednesday’s two wins have Los Alamos sitting in second place in the district, 2-1/2 games back of Bernalillo’s Spartans (6-0 in district, 13-4 overall). Capital is a 1-1/2 games behind Los Alamos.

Both of Capital’s wins this season have been in district play. The Jaguars (2-14 overall) slugged out wins against both Española Valley and Taos. Their 17-14 win over the Sundevils April 1 was their first win of the season.

Los Alamos’ postponed game at Taos has been rescheduled for April 27.