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The Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball team jumped on the Highland Hornets early during Thursday’s opening round of the Andres Arguello Memorial Tournament.
Los Alamos scored four times in the first inning and three more times in the fourth as it cruised to a 10-3 victory.
Thursday’s win moved the Hilltoppers into the tournament semifinal round where they were scheduled to take on host St. Pius X this morning. Results of that game weren’t available at press time.
The tournament continues through Saturday in Albuquerque.
Hilltopper manager Mike Gill said he’s particularly happy that his team is getting the ball in play during the early part of the season, part of the reason the Hilltoppers have had success so far.
“We’re doing a good job of limiting our pop-ups,” Gill said. “We only had two fly ball outs (Thursday). We made the defense work. We’re doing a good job of keeping pressure on their defense.”
Highland, a Class 5A team, bounced back to score three runs in the top of the second. Highland drew three walks in the inning off starting pitcher Steven Williams.
But Williams (1-1) settled down after the second inning. He gave up only two hits in four innings of work to earn the victory.
The win was the third in a row and fourth in the last five outings for Los Alamos (4-3). Los Alamos has scored 24 runs in its last three games.
Offensively Thursday, Williams went 2-for-3 with a double and drove in two runs. Jake Downs, who was scheduled to pitch this morning’s game, was 2-for-3 and Nick Baker, making his season debut after returning to the team from basketball earlier this week, was 2-for-4.
Outfielder Thomas Russell is also back for Los Alamos following the basketball season, while star slugger Jared Mang, who broke his finger during the preseason, also made an appearance Thursday.