Los Lunas, Belen beat up on Bernalillo baseball team


Baseball season got underway for Valencia and Belen over the weekend, while Los Lunas got on the right track.

Belen downed Bernalillo, 11-6, in a Friday visit. The Spartans then hit the road and lost a double-header at Los Lunas, 13-0 and 10-0.

Valencia began their season with a long road trip to Artesia. The Jags won the opener, 6-0, before dropping a heart-breaker in the nightcap, 3-2.

Valencia will be off until Tuesday, March 12, when Cleveland comes to visit under the new lights at the Jag's home field. The first pitch is set for 7 p.m.

Los Lunas was to host Albuquerque High in a game slated for after News-Bulletin press time on Tuesday.

The Tigers are in the St. Pius tournament beginning Thursday with El Paso Socorro. Game time is slated for 10:30 a.m.

Belen is also in a weekend tournament, and will face host Farmington in the first game at 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Valencia 6, Artesia 0

The Jags took an early lead with three runs in the third inning and rode the pitching of Anthony Gonzales to get the season-opening win.

Gonzales pitched five-and-a-third innings and got the win. Tyler Klein finished the sixth inning and Chris Waltman shut the door in the seventh.

Artesia committed six errors, helping the Jags to a run in the fifth and two in the sixth.

"We didn't get a lot of hits there," said Jag coach Carlos Carrasco, noting that Valencia will have nine days between games. "We get two games in and then we can figure out what we need to fix."

Artesia 3, Valencia 2

An opportunity for a sweep of the Bulldogs at home went by the wayside — twice.

With the game tied 1-1 in the third inning, a two-out grounder went too deep to get the lead runner, but the Jags had the batter in a run down. The Artesia baserunner went around third and scored with no one covering the plate. Artesia led 2-1.

Valencia scored in the seventh inning to close the gap to 3-2, but Gonzales was thrown out at third after the ball landed between second and the mound. The Artesia defense scrambled to make a play and Gonzales was caught trying to stretch out an extra base from first.

Landon Moya was charged with all three runs, although only one was earned. He got the loss with just over three innings over work.

Los Lunas 10, Bernalillo 0

The Tiger bats came to life after only scoring a run against Mayfield, and two against Oñate in the first two losses.

A four-run fifth sealed the win, giving the Tigers a 9-0 lead at home. A run in the sixth gave Los Lunas a run-rule win.

"We had not been putting the ball in play," said Candelaria. "I hope that now the kids will see that good things happen when we do that."

Chris Padilla led the way with a 3-for-3 performance and two RBI.

Los Lunas 13, Bernalillo 0

Los Lunas jumped out to an early lead thanks to a seven-run explosion in the second inning. The Tigers added four in the third to pretty much put the game out of reach.

Isaac Parra got the win with a brilliant pitching performance. He only faced 10 batters in three innings before Charles Holt took over. He retired the side twice in order and only gave up one hit.

Chris Wisneski, who signed a letter of intent this week to play college ball at New Mexico Military Institute in the fall, got the big hit in the second inning. His single scored Tyler Mariano and Donald Cruz.

"I know that they are great hitters," said Candelaria of his team. "It was nice and I hope it develops more confidence for them."

Belen 11, Bernalillo 6

Tim Vialpando got the Eagle's season-opening win, but he needed a little help.

Ahead 6-1, Vialpando let the Spartans climb back to within 6-5 before Wyatt Matheson came in to shut the Bernalillo bats down in the fourth inning.

"He couldn't find the zone," said coach Steve Contreras, noting that the Eagles got 17 hits. "We hit pretty consistently the whole game. We were probably a timely hit or two away from scoring a lot of runs."

The Eagles got to Bernalillo ace Forrest McCool before he left in the sixth inning. All 11 runs were charged to the Spartan starter.

"He is not a bad pitcher. He came with strikes," said Contreras. "We should have scored more runs. We left a lot of guys on base."

The Eagles left the bases loaded twice in the game.

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