WEB EXCLUSIVE: Los Lunas baseball best Miyamura to stay in title race

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LOS LUNAS – The Los Lunas baseball team kept pace with crosstown rivals Valencia Saturday, holding off a game group from Miyamura 5-4 Saturday at Eddie Fulkerson Field.

Pitcher Jerome Abeita gave up six hits and walked four but got plenty of defensive support from his Tiger teammates, who closed down the Patriots several times when they were threatening to score, and posted seven strikeouts – many of them timely and rally-breaking.

“In the sixth they got a few gap hits, but Jerome’s a competitor,” said LLHS coach Pete Candelaria.  “He’s a competitor and he just went in threw strikes.”

The Tigers trailed early as Miyamura score a run in the top of the second inning. The Patriots led 1-0 and were threatening to more damage with bases loaded, but Abeita struck out the top of the order to send the Patriots packing.

Los Lunas’ bats got going in the bottom of the third inning, loading the bases with three singles in their first four batters before Darron Gallegos then hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Tomas Romero and tie the game. Jason Yalch and Chris Padilla singled on the next two at-bats, scoring Thai Ewing and Yalch to give Los Lunas a 3-1 lead heading into the fourth inning.

Both teams were quiet until the sixth inning. Miyamura briefly tied the game with a pair of runs, but Abeita again struck out a pair of batters, stranding two runners in scoring position and the game tied at 3-3.

Los Lunas’ Dakota Wood began the bottom of the sixth inning with a towering solo home run over the left field fence. The Tigers looked to be done scoring later with two outs, but Gallegos singled to bring in Ewing and give Los Lunas a 5-3 lead.

“We needed that one,” said Candelaria. “That was a big one.”

The Patriots would score a run in the top of the seventh, but Abeita got the final three outs, getting two batters to ground out before getting the final batter swinging to end the game.

“They hit the ball well today,” Candelaria said. “The balls were falling for us. The home run, was a spark and our pitching was great.”

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