Area athletes continue success at college level

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The News-Bulletin starts the summer off with College Corner, a look at area athletes who have continued their athletic careers at the collegiate level.

Former Los Lunas Tiger Jacqueline Candelaria recently finished her junior season at Eastern New Mexico, where she led the Zias in sacrifice bunts (17), games played (55) and starts (55 games).

The junior, who was part of the starting lineup for the entire season, was also third on the team for runs scored (25), stolen bases (5), steal attempts (7) and total plate appearances (159). Candelaria was also fourth for ENMU in at bats (134) and fifth in stolen base percentage (.714).

Overall Candelaria held a hitting average of .254 for the Zias, with a slugging percentage of .284. On the field Candelaria was fourth best in fielding percentage with a .949.

In her sophomore season, Candelaria, who transferred from New Mexico State after her freshman season, played in 51 games, with 46 starts in the outfield batting .236 with 10 RBIs, three doubles and a pair of home runs. Candelaria is majoring in social work at ENMU.

This season, Eastern went 15-40 overall and 3-24 in the Lone Star Conference, finishing eighth in the eight-team league. West Texas A&M, the top team in the LSC, won the NCAA Division II softball national championship this season.

Peralta resident Ryan Hernandez, a member of the 2013 St. Pius X baseball team that won the 2013 Class 4A State Championship , recently completed his freshman campaign playing at Colorado State University-Pueblo, an NCAA Division II school in Pueblo, Colo.

Hernandez, a left-handed pitcher and outfielder, spent the season as a redshirt on the Thunderwolves, who finished 27-21 over and finished second in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference.

Off the field, Hernandez, the son of Ed and Cora Hernandez of Peralta, was named to the Dean’s List in both the fall 2013 and spring 2014 semesters, finishing with 3.66 and 3.62 grade point averages, respectively. Hernandez is studying criminal justice and Spanish at CSU-Pueblo.

St. Francis University sophomore Taylar Jaramillo, a former state champ at Belen High, won her first college golf tournament this spring and earned all-conference honors for the second year in a row in the Division I Northeast Conference.

Jaramillo won the Seahawk Spring Invitational in Gettysburg, Penn., shooting a two-round total of 155, helping the Red Flash to their only win of the season. St. Francis captured second place in three other tournaments, including the NEC Championship Tournament in Daytona, Fla.

The Red Flash shot a collective average of 308 in three rounds to finish runner-up in the NWC. Jaramillo finished seventh overall, posting a 230 for her three rounds, shooting a low of 75 and an average of 77 to place in the top ten at the season-ending championship for the second straight year.

Hernandez, the daughter of Delbert and Marilyn Jaramillo, is a biology/pre-med major at St. Francis.