Tigers open season by losing two

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It has been a tough start to the baseball season for Los Lunas. The Tigers were expected to contend for a state title with virtually all of their offense back and some quality pitching led by Ruger Rodriguez and Isaac Parra.

Both pitchers are now 0-1 on the season as Rodriguez lost Tuesday's start in Las Cruces against Class 5A Mayfiled, 2-1, and Parra suffered the loss in the home opener setback on Thursday to Oñate, 13-2.

New coach Pete Candelaria was disappointed, but not wholly concerned with the first two games.

"We know that his team can hit," said Candelaria. "We just have to take what happened at the plate in the last inning (against Oñate) and continue it on Saturday.

The Tigers host Bernalillo after the Spartans open their season at home against Belen in a game that started after the News-Bulletin went to press on Friday.

The Los Lunas-Bernalillo doubleheader is scheduled for an 11 a.m. first pitch.

Against Oñate, the Tigers ran into the talented arm of Alanzo Parra, who retired the Tigers without a run for five innings while the Knights built a 13-0 edge.

Isaac Parra got a tough loss on the hill, as an error in the fourth inning led to four unearned runs. The call was somewhat questionable as a throw from shortstop John Rivera drew first baseman Nate Abieta off the bag, according to the first base umpire. Abieta's foot was in contact with the bag after the call was made.

The Tigers gave up five more runs in the sixth inning when Parra was relieved on the mound and went to third base. Charles Holt took over on the mound.

Los Lunas was held scoreless through the sixth inning, when Rodriguez came up with a clutch double to score Rivera and Chris Wisneski. It would be the only runs the Tigers could muster.

The Tigers played much better at Mayfield, as they did not commit any errors in the field. The two runs did score on passed balls in the third inning as Rodriguez only gave up a single and a walk, facing five batters in the inning.

Los Lunas responded with a run in the top of the fourth when Rodriguez hit a single that drove in Abeita.

Both pitchers settled down after that and the Trojans took a 2-1 win.


-- Email the author at mstearns@news-bulletin.com.