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LA closes out its 2-4A games early

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By The Staff

BERNALILLO — The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team had little trouble running its win streak to 10 games Saturday, as well as keeping its grip on the top of the District 2-4A standings.
The Hilltoppers earned a 10-0 decision in six innings over the Bernalillo Spartans in game of their doubleheader. In game two, the Hilltoppers needed just five innings to win 14-3 at Coach Dave Rostro Field.
With those wins, Los Alamos completes the season sweep of the Spartans and got the second half of its district season started on the right foot.
Los Alamos is now 8-0 in 2-4A play with just four games remaining in the regular season. Los Alamos also upped its 2014 record to 16-6, which likely clinches it at least an at-large bid in the upcoming state tournament, regardless of how the rest of the season plays out.
Despite being atop the district standings, the Hilltoppers still have three tough games in a row. They will face Santa Fe Wednesday, which gave them a run for their money in one of their two meetings this season, then will have to take on Española Valley in a doubleheader Saturday at Bomber Field.
In game one against Bernalillo, Jared Mang threw a complete game, allowing just three hits in six innings of work while striking out three. Bernalillo had just one player get as far as third base in the contest, but Mang escaped the one and only jam he had in that contest by forcing Jacob Aragon to roll into a double play.
Shortstop Connor Mang went 2-for-3 in game one, scoring three times and driving in two runs on a base hit in the second inning. Colin Kitts was 2-for-4 and also knocked in a run.
In the second game, Jared Mang had some big hits, including a two-run triple in the third inning, the big blow of a seven-run rally that all but put the game away at that point. Catcher Trevor Pacheco finished the game going 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI and two runs scored.
Bernalillo managed some offense in game two. Christian Leon drove in a run in the first to give the Spartans (5-16 overall, 2-5 in 2-4A) their one and only lead of the day.
But the two Hilltopper pitchers, Jake Downs and Nick Sgambellone, limited the Spartans to just four hits in those five innings.
Sgambellone picked up the win. He came in during the second inning and threw 3-2/3 innings, giving up three hits — all of them in the fifth inning — and striking out three.
Wednesday, Los Alamos will have a chance to sweep Santa Fe as well. Santa Fe kept close with Los Alamos in the first game of their doubleheader at Bomber Field behind the pitching of Kyle Mueller, but the Hilltoppers would prevail in a tight 3-2 decision.
The Hilltoppers won the second game handily, taking that 13-3.
The key games of the season for Los Alamos will still be to come, however, as it will take on Española Valley in a doubleheader Saturday on North Mesa.
Los Alamos will have the advantage going in, however, if it can knock off Santa Fe Wednesday. Los Alamos won the first meeting between them 3-2 in the valley and would need only to win one game or the other to all but clinch the district title this season.

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