Tigers score two diamond wins

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New Los Lunas baseball coach Pete Candelaria has been waiting for the bats to come alive, but the Tiger coach is most pleased with the pitching staff’s performances lately.

News-Bulletin file photo: The Los Lunas Tigers claimed two wins this week, putting down Los Alamos, 15-2 and Sandia Prep, 12-2, both on the five-inning mercy rule. The Tigers will take up the bats again next Tuesday when they host the Del Norte Knights. Game play is expected to begin at 4 p.m.

“Those three guys are really coming through,” said Candelaria of Rugar Rodriguez, Issac Parra and Charles Holt. “Our pitching staff is really pitching well.”

Holt got the win against Los Alamos, 15-2, in a five-inning mercy rule win on Tuesday.

He struck out eight Hilltoppers and only allowed four hits.

It was Parra’s turn on Thursday as the senior got a five-inning mercy-rule win over visiting Sandia Prep, 12-2.

Los Lunas will host Del Norte on Tuesday with the start expected to be around 4 p.m.

During Thursday’s win over Sandia Prep, Candelaria did not have to wait long for the bats to come to life.

In the home half of the first inning, Los Lunas put up eight runs on eight hits to take an 8-0 lead.

“We broke the game open with that first inning,” said Candelaria. “We were pretty sluggish after that first inning. Our bats came alive again in the fifth inning to end the game.”

After the Tigers added a run in the fourth to extend the lead to 9-0, the Sundevils scored two in the top of the fifth.

Los Lunas was able to get the offense going in the bottom of the fifth, scoring three runs to reach the mercy-rule advantage of 10 runs and end the contest two innings early.

Tuesday’s game was similar, with the Tigers posting four runs in the second inning, followed by five in the third to take a 9-1 lead at Los Alamos.

Holt continued to hold off the Hilltopper offense, while Los Lunas scored twice more in the top of the fourth.

The Tigers put the game far out of reach with four runs in the top of the fifth.

Los Alamos added a run in the bottom of the fifth, but it didn’t matter as the Tigers had plenty of runs to secure the win.

The offense was impressive in the Los Alamos win with Chris Padilla hitting a solo home run and adding a double to finish with three RBI and a 3-for-4 day.

Preston Schollander had three RBI of his own in a 2-for-4 day at the plate with two doubles.

Catcher Dakota Wood had a two run double and finished 2-for-3 at the plate.

“Chuck really pitched well,” said Candelaria. “He fits right in with the starting rotation of the three of them. They are all pitching well. They are all throwing complete games, so that really helps us.”


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