Baseball: Padres thump Rockies in finale

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By Mike Cote

After one inning, the final game of the Little League District 1 Tournament Juniors Tournament of Champions looked like it might be a laugher.

After 2-1/2 innings, the laughter had stopped.

The Santa Fe Rockies whittled a 10-2 Los Alamos Padres’ lead down to four runs and seemed to have the momentum heading into the middle innings, but a quick top of the fourth and a three-run burst by the Padres effectively shut the door Wednesday night at Virchow Field.

The Padres, taking full advantage of some shoddy Rockies defense, plated 10 runs in the bottom of the first and scored five runs in the final two innings to close out the Rockies 16-6 in five innings.

Wednesday’s game was the final of the 2008 Tournament of Champions.

Following the bottom of the first, in which in the Padres, a good-hitting squad, pounded out nine hits, the Rockies came back to score a pair of runs in the top of the second. The Rockies would pick up another pair in the top of the third off Padres starting pitcher JD Weiss.

Weiss, however, would find his rhythm on the hill, facing just one batter more than the minimum in the fourth and fifth innings, holding a solid Santa Fe lineup scoreless.

Meanwhile, Weiss helped out his own cause immensely throughout Wednesday’s contest.

Weiss went 4-for-5 with a double, triple two RBI and scored four times to lead the Los Alamos hitting barrage.

For the five-inning game, the Padres pounded out 16 hits.

The Padres chased off Rockies starting pitcher Xavier Archuleta in 2/3 innings after picking up 10 runs, only three of them earned.

Weiss, Henry Steinkamp, Kyle Bramlett, Zeke Zumbro and Michael Young all had RBI hits in the first inning, Zumbro and Young coming through with RBI doubles.

Steinkamp, the Padres’ first baseman, singled to drive in Weiss for the game’s winning run. Steinkamp finished the contest 3-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored.

The Padres scored at least 11 runs in all three games of their tournament win, taking all three of those contests by the 10-run rule.