Baseball/Softball: Toppers, Spartans square off Friday

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By The Staff

Both the Los Alamos Hilltopper baseball and softball teams are sitting atop the District 2-4A standings, but two big tests await both teams Friday.
Los Alamos will host both a softball and baseball doubleheader against Bernalillo Friday. The doubleheaders will start at 3 p.m. at both Bomber Field on North Mesa and Overlook Park in White Rock.
The circumstances are different in the two games, but should the teams sweep the Spartans Friday, both will take big steps to securing the 2011 district title.
In baseball, Los Alamos and Bernalillo have met twice before this season, splitting those two contests. However, Los Alamos won the one that affected the district standings, holding off the Spartans 4-3 in Bernalillo March 30.
In that game, pitcher JD Weiss, who has sparkled for the Hilltoppers during the district season, threw a gem to open 2-4A play. Weiss outdueled the Spartans’ Ryan Garcia to get the complete game win.
Weiss gave up seven hits in the game, however, three of Bernalillo’s hits left the ballpark.
In the top of the seventh inning, eighth grader Jared Mang launched a home run of his own, to center field, which proved to be the game’s winning run.
That win for the Hilltoppers (9-9 overall, 6-0 in 2-4A) came in their district opener. Since that time, they have reeled off five straight wins, including two blowout wins over Capital Saturday. The Hilltoppers pummeled Capital’s Jaguars, outscoring them 37-10 in the doubleheader, including a season-high 24 runs scored in the first game.
With the two Santa Fe teams currently a combined 1-9 in district play, only the Spartans (8-7 overall, 3-1 in 2-4A) and Española Valley’s Sundevils (7-9, 2-2) seem at this point to have any kind of chance of catching Los Alamos — the Hilltoppers beat the Sundevils in their first meeting as well.
In softball, the Hilltoppers (8-9 overall, 3-0 in 2-4A) will take on a wounded Spartan squad who need at least one and possibly two wins to stay alive in the district race.
The Spartans were stunned in both ends of a doubleheader Saturday against Santa Fe.
Santa Fe, which at 3-9 heading into the game seemed to be reeling, topped Bernalillo by scores of 8-6 in both ends of that twinbill.
Bernalillo (12-4, 1-2), which gave Los Alamos some of its toughest games of the 2010 district season and posting a sparkling 11-2 nondistrict record, probably can’t afford to go down three games to Los Alamos and have a realistic shot at a 2-4A title — a sweep Friday would give the Hilltoppers the season tiebreaker over the Spartans and would put Los Alamos within one game of a perfect first half of the district season.
Interestingly, when Los Alamos plays Santa Fe next Wednesday, it will have concluded all of its home district games. The remaining six district contests will be on the road, including its season-ending doubleheader at Santa Fe.
The Hilltoppers held on to top Española Valley 4-2 Wednesday, then followed that up by thumping the Jaguars in a doubleheader Saturday.
Los Alamos’ offense has started to come to life. Micaela Christensen, Kristin Christensen and Alyssa Van Anne have been among those in Los Alamos’ lineup swinging the bat effectively.