Los Lunas baseball clinches District 6-4A title

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Playing true to form, the Los Lunas baseball team waited until the last possible moment to come up with a big rally Saturday against Miyamura.

But by posting eight runs in the seventh inning, the Tigers grabbed a 10-5 victory and also clinched the District 6-4A championship.

"It was exciting," said Los Lunas coach Pete Candelaria. "It was one of those games when their bats lit up for an inning."

That's been the Tigers' standard for most of the year, the coach pointed out.

"Going into the seventh inning I wasn't a little nervous, I was a lot nervous, because it was a pretty big game," he said. "The district title was at stake. It was a little nerve wracking. But it's not the first time the boys have been down to that last inning."

Chris Padilla, who has been hot of late, struck the big hit in the inning with a bases loaded triple to straight away center field to score the go-ahead runs.

"We really seemed to take off after that," Candelaria said. "Chris has been doing a lot for us lately. He's really been getting the clutch hits. It seems whenever we need a big hit, he comes through for us."

Although late rallies have been a trademark for Los Lunas (19-6, 7-2) this season, that was not the case Tuesday against Valencia.

The Jaguars pummeled Los Lunas 12-2 in five innings, not giving the Tigers a chance at a late comeback.

It's a game that could hurt Los Lunas' seeding when the New Mexico Activities Association releases its brackets Sunday.

Valencia pitcher Anthony Gonzales allowed five hits and walked four but he was able to limit the damage by striking out four.

Carlos Ramirez carried the offense for the Jaguars (9-14, 5-4), going 3-for-3 with four RBI, three runs and two triples.

Despite the setback, Candelaria said he is hopeful of collecting a top-five seed.

"It's nice to know that we've won the district but these next two games are pretty important to us," he said before the Valencia outcome. "We would like to be in the top five or six at least."

Regardless, "it's been a fun season," Candelaria said

The Tigers finish up the regular season Friday at Belen while Valencia travels to Goddard for an out-of-district game Thursday and finishes up Friday at Grants.