South Valley Seniors sweep past Enchantment

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The Enchantment Senior All-Stars were game but ultimately fell to the squad from South Valley Little League, losing two straight in the teams’ best 2- of-3 series in the district tournament at the Enchantment Little League complex this past weekend.

The 12-player Enchantment squad, which was a combined team from the county’s three little leagues — Enchantment, Belen and Yucca — fell 16-6 in the opener Saturday afternoon and 15-1 in Saturday afternoon’s closer.

Kenn Rodriguez-News-Bulletin photo: PITCHER KEVIN GRAHAM stares down a base runner during the Enchantment Senior All-Stars 15-1 loss to South Valley on Sunday during the District 9 Little League Tournament.

In both games, South Valley’s aggression won the day. The Bernalillo County-based squad challenged the Enchantment pitchers on offense, peppering hits consistently and taking big leads off bases when they got on base.

South Valley was even aggressive on the base paths, making so much physical contact in the two games that one player was ejected on Saturday.

“They (South Valley) came out a lot stronger today. Their hitting was phenomenal,” said Enchantment manager Chad Barela. “They did the job. Our pitchers struggled and we struggled hitting.”

In game one Saturday, Enchantment sprung out to a 3-1 lead keyed by a Justin Quesada hit, a Dominic Holt walk and a fielding error by South Valley that got Bailey Frasier on base. All three scored and Frasier scored again in the third inning, but South Valley tied the game with three runs in the bottom of the third then blew the game open with an eight-run fourth inning to take a 12-4 lead.

Enchantment managed seven hits and drew five walks in game one, but left eight men stranded on base. South Valley also managed 10 hits but drew 13 walks — eight of which came during the game deciding rallies in the fourth and fifth innings.

Kyler Wright had Enchantment’s only hit and scored the only run on Sunday as South Valley bulldozed their way to a win, scoring five runs in the first inning and seven in the second. For the game, South Valley managed 10 hits and drew nearly as many walks — nine all told. Enchantment managed four hits, three in the first inning and drew no walks.

Wright finished the weekend going 3-for-5 with three singles and Quesada went 2-for-5 with a pair of doubles.

Holt finished the weekend as the team’s top offensive threat, reaching base on all five at bats, going 4-for-4 with a single and three doubles and drawing a walk. Kevin Graham and Ryan Garcia also tallied singles Saturday.

Barela said his four pitchers — Quesada, Holt, Frasier and Mateo Barela — brought a lot of leadership to the squad.

They were our pitchers and our top hitters,” he said. “A lot of these kids are young and those three brought some experience and helped out our younger players.”

Barela said the team played well all season, finishing 10-4, but wasn’t able to get the same level of play in the tournament.

“The boys played great,” Barela said. “To get these guys together for the first year and have them play hard all season was great. We finished good and should have played better yesterday and today, but I’m still happy. It was fun.”