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'Toppers face No. 1 seed in playoffs

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By Mike Cote

In the opening round of the Class 4A baseball tournament last weekend, the Los Alamos Hilltoppers seemed to have a tough draw when they faced off against the Aztec Tigers.
Thursday, the Hilltoppers seem to have a tough draw as well, but the Hilltoppers are hoping they rise to that challenge the same way they rose to the challenge against the Tigers.
Los Alamos, the No. 8 seed in the 4A playoffs, advances to play the No. 1 seed, the Piedra Vista Panthers, in Thursday’s quarterfinal round. The Los Alamos-Piedra Vista contest is scheduled for noon at La Cueva High School in Albuquerque.
That Los Alamos (19-9) is squaring off against Piedra Vista should come as no surprise. The Panthers (19-9) have been the top 4A team in the state all season and are the three-time defending state champions.
Los Alamos got to see Piedra Vista first hand in the first two games of the 2013 regular season. At Ricketts Park, one of the top venues in the state for baseball, the Panthers thumped the Hilltoppers in a doubleheader, 12-0 and 9-1. The Hilltoppers managed just one hit in the first game and four more in the nightcap.
The season-opening losses were part of a rough stretch for the Hilltoppers to start.


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