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SANTA FE — Both Los Alamos County Majors All-Star baseball teams will be fighting for their playoff lives tonight at Franklin Miles Park.
Los Alamos and White Rock will face each other at 6 p.m. for the right to continue in the District 1 tournament. Los Alamos, which lost its opening round contest to Española Valley Monday, won by forfeit over the Santa Fe American All-Stars Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, White Rock lost in Tuesday’s winner’s bracket game to that same Española Valley squad, 9-1.
The winner of tonight’s game will get two cracks at Española Valley for the District 1 Majors championship and the right to go on to the state tournament later this month.
Also at Franklin Miles Park Tuesday, the Los Alamos Juniors All-Stars clung to an 8-7 victory over Pecos. Pecos mounted a big comeback in the late innings but couldn’t push the tying run across the plate in its final at-bat.
The Los Alamos Juniors will be off tonight, awaiting the winner between Pecos and Santa Fe in tonight’s elimination game. Los Alamos is in the driver’s seat in that tournament, needing to win just one of two games against tonight’s winner to clinch a trip to state.
Los Alamos 8, Pecos 7
Despite holding a seemingly comfortable lead heading into the final two innings, Los Alamos had to sweat out Pecos’ final two at-bats Tuesday.
Los Alamos scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to up its advantage over Pecos to 8-2. But with the game seemingly well in-hand, Pecos came right back in the top of the fifth to score four runs and get right back in the ballgame.
After getting only sporadic offense going against Los Alamos starting pitcher Matt Frye, Pecos got hot in the sixth when facing reliever Trevor Pacheco. Pecos’ Scotty Sanchez belted a two-run triple in the sixth inning, then scored one batter later on a RBI groundout.
But in the seventh, with the tying and go-ahead runs in scoring position, Pecos couldn’t capitalize. Los Alamos’ Jake Downs, who quelled the sixth-inning rally in relief of Pacheco retired the final two Pecos hitters of the contest to preserve the victory.
Pecos had chances to score all game long, but stranded nine runners on the contest.
Frye helped out his own cause early in the contest with a double and scored a run. Downs had a triple in the first inning and William Steinkamp drew a pair of walks and scored two runs.
A day earlier, Pecos outlasted Santa Fe by that same score of 8-7.
Española Valley 9, White Rock 1
Española Valley appears to be the team to beat in the District 1 tournament after its impressive win over White Rock’s All-Stars Tuesday.
While White Rock turned in a solid effort Tuesday, Española Valley’s bats combined with a brilliant pitching performance by Byron Calabasas made for a rough outing.
Calabasas allowed just two hits in four innings of work — one of those a home run by Clay Adams in the bottom of the fourth, White Rock’s only run of the contest — and struck out eight hitters using a good mixture of hard stuff and off-speed pitches.
Meanwhile, Española Valley’s first baseman Juanito Diaz popped a pair of two-run home runs and just missed a third home run on the contest when his opposite field shot just tailed foul.
White Rock pitcher Zack Archuleta also threw well in the contest against the tough Española Valley lineup, keeping the team within striking distance until the fifth inning when Freddy Perez looped a double to score two runs.
Archuleta fanned seven batters on the contest.
Perez would come in to pitch in relief of Calabasas and close out the contest.
Los Alamos 6, American 0
Santa Fe American was skating on thin ice heading into Tuesday’s contest. Early in the first inning, the ice broke.
American brought just nine players to Tuesday’s game and in the first inning, one of its players got injured. According to Little League rules, teams must have no fewer than nine players to finish a game.
The two teams played an exhibition game Tuesday, mostly for American’s benefit, as it was the team’s final appearance in the District 1 tournament.
A day earlier, Los Alamos lost to Española Valley to drop into the loser’s bracket.