VHS douses ‘Devils; BHS, LL swept out

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The first round of the Class 4A State Baseball tournament is a rough one for Belen and Los Lunas but not Valencia, which advanced to this weekend’s quarterfinals.

The No. 4 seed Jaguars showed an aggressive streak all weekend against the No. 12 seed Espanola Valley, winning Friday night under the lights and Saturday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Class 4A State Baseball Tournament.

“I couldn’t ask for anything better,” said VHS coach Carlos Carassco. “We brought the sticks today (Saturday). Overall it was as great effort, a great job by the boys.”

Junior Garret Garcia held the Sundevils to one run on Friday in a 4-1 win.

Valencia (21-7) then opened their Saturday game against EVHS with five runs and tacked on three runs in the sixth inning to close the door firmly on the ‘Devils.

The Jags now play Albuquerque Academy tonight at 7 p.m. at Cleveland H.S. in Rio Rancho.

Playing without two starting pitchers because of suspensions, No. 8 seed Los Lunas’ lack of pitching caused them problems in their series against the No. 9 seed Deming, which swept past the Tigers to advance to the state quarterfinals this weekend.

“It was pretty tough,” said LLHS coach Pete Candelaria. “We made costly errors, fell behind and couldn’t catch up. We had to make adjustments, people were playing out of position. But I thought the kids did a great job.”

On Friday, the Tigers were tied with the Wildcats through three innings before going down 6-2 in the top of the fourth inning. Los Lunas would rally but fell short.

Saturday, Deming hammered LLHS’ pitching in pushing out to a 9-0 lead through three innings before closing the game out in the fifth, ending the Tigers’ season.

On Friday, No. 3 St. Pius X (18-8) sent up its ace, senior pitcher Ray Reyes, who set the tone for the best 2-of-3 series by nearly throwing a no-hitter. Behind Reyes’ 1-hitter, the Sartans would win 13-0 in 5 innings.

But the Eagles (14-12) rebounded Saturday and nearly pushed St. Pius (18-8) to a deciding third game. Belen tied the game 3-3 and 4-4 late in the game but were unable to score in the top of the seventh.

The Sartans got the winning run in the bottom of the inning to end the game and the series.