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The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team will have a long road ahead in the state Class 4A tournament, starting with a long road trip this weekend.
Los Alamos (13-11) picked up a No. 12 seed in the 4A tournament, which starts with a best 2-of-3 series Friday and Saturday. Los Alamos will travel to Artesia for a matchup with the fifth-seeded Bulldogs.
The Hilltoppers qualified for the state tournament with their District 2-4A title. The Hilltoppers finished with a 10-2 district record to clinch their third straight title.
In 2011, however, Los Alamos was only 2-8 against non-district teams this season, a mark which included five losses to other Class 4A teams. That mark dropped the Hilltoppers down to the No. 12 spot.
Only one other 2-4A team, Bernalillo, made the playoff field. Bernalillo, at least partially on the strength of its sweep Saturday against Española Valley, was given an at-large bid into the playoffs. But Bernalillo will go into the tournament as the No. 16 seed and have to play top-seeded Albuquerque Academy in the first round.
Academy (22-2) has been among the top-ranked teams in Class 4A this season and wrenched the No. 1 spot in the statewide coaches’ poll away from Piedra Vista in the last few weeks. Piedra Vista (20-4) picked up the No. 2 seed.
The winner between Los Alamos and Artesia (16-10) will advance to play the winner between fourth-seeded St. Pius X and 13th-seeded Aztec in next week’s quarterfinal round. That game will be played at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.
The Class 4A championship game will be played May 14 at Isotopes Park.
(16) Bernalillo at (1) Albuquerque Academy, 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
(9) Los Lunas at (8) Santa Teresa, Friday, 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
(13) Aztec at (4) St. Pius X, 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
(12) Los Alamos at (5) Artesia, 6 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.
(14) Gallup at (3) Farmington, 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
(11) Valencia at (6) Goddard, 3 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday.
(10) Atrisco Heritage at (7) Belen, 4 p.m. Friday and 11 a.m. Saturday.
(15) Moriarty at (2) Piedra Vista, 7 p.m. Friday and 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Academy-Bernalillo winner vs. Santa Teresa-Los Lunas winner, 10:30 a.m.
Farmington-Gallup winner vs. Goddard-Valenica winner, 11 a.m.
St. Pius-Aztec winner vs. Artesia-Los Alamos winner, 1:30 p.m.
Belen-Atrisco Heritage winner vs. Moriarty-Piedra Vista winner, 2 p.m.