Tigers beat Eagles Tuesday with a 17-7 win
If Los Lunas baseball coach Pete Candelaria looks a tad older this week, with perhaps a touch more gray upstairs and a few more lines on his face, it's understandable.
His pitching staff Tuesday offered little in the way of stress reduction.
Although the Tigers beat rival Belen 17-7, Los Lunas pitchers issued 15 walks.
"That killed us," Candelaria said. "That was very unusual for my pitching staff. It was very frustrating."
Los Lunas (16-5, 4-1 in District 6-4A) jumped out early with four runs in each of the first two innings with Preston Schollander bombing a grand slam to left in the first inning and Chris Padilla jacking a 3-run shot in the second.
"Those (homers) are really nice when you have runners on base," Candelaria said.
Belen (7-11, 1-4) kept it close with three in the top of the second and pulled within 8-7 with a 4-run rally in the fifth.
But the Tigers put the game away with five in the bottom of the fifth and four more in the sixth to end it.
"We made too many mistakes," Eagles coach Steve Contreras said. "You can't do that against a good team like Los Lunas. They'll make you pay."
Padilla turned out to be the big bopper for the Tigers, finishing 3-for-3 with an RBI double and scored four runs.
"Chris has been hitting the ball pretty well lately," Candelaria said.
Just seeing the whole offense come alive was refreshing, he said.
"We haven't gotten into double figures in awhile," he said. "We need to get that kind of run production."
Nate Abeita went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI for Los Lunas and Damon Gallegos went 2-for-4 with a triple, RBI and scored four runs. Tyler Mariano and Isaac Parra and each scored three runs for the Eagles.
And Parra came into the game in the fifth to staunch the flow of walks.
It was a good win for the Tigers, said catcher Dakota Wood, especially since it came against Eagles.
"That's our rival," he said. "It's been that way forever. It's a huge game in our season. It's the one we all look forward to. It's something you want to win just because it's Belen, and that helps us out in district since we have that one loss, but we'll be all right."
But just getting a district win is what matters, Candelaria said.
"They're all pretty big games right now," he said. "In this district, if you don't have run production every game, you're not going to win. It's all about win run production."