Aztec High School baseball and softball teams earn big wins

Steven Bortstein
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — The Aztec High School baseball team took a big step toward capturing a district championship Thursday, beating Bloomfield on the road by a final of 6-2 and sweeping the schools' two district matchups this season.

Meantime, the Aztec softball team took a pair of wins at home Thursday over Bloomfield as the Tigers fight for a district title in the final weeks of the regular season.

Here's a look at some of the Thursday afternoon games.

Baseball

Aztec 6, Bloomfield 2

Pitchers Ryan Ray and Jacob Prada-Johnson combined to give up only two hits as the Aztec High School baseball team finished off a series sweep over Bloomfield with a 6-2 win Thursday afternoon at Bloomfield High School.

Ray and Johnson overcame a few early defensive mistakes on their way to the victory, which kept the Tigers tied atop the District 1-4A standings with Miyamura at a record of 6-1. The Tigers and Patriots have played each other twice this season, with the teams splitting their series.

Miyamura remained tied with the Tigers atop the district standings after the Patriots blanked Gallup by a final of 12-0 on Thursday afternoon.

Brandon Arellano drove in a pair of runs for Aztec, which was up only 3-2 going into the top half of the third inning before it began to pull clear of the Bobcats as the game wore on.

Aztec's Matthew Lawson hits a sacrifice fly in the top of the third inning of a district game at Bloomfield High, Thursday, April 21, 2022.

Ray threw five innings, giving up only one hit and two runs while striking out eight. Johnson finished off the game on the mound, striking out a pair of Bobcats hitters to preserve the win.

D.J. Maes got off to a shaky start on the mound for the Bobcats, but overcame some trouble in the first and second innings to avoid bigger damage. Maes threw three innings and gave up a four runs on two hits before Marc Armenta came into the game and surrendered a pair of runs on three hits. 

Both teams had their share of off moments in the field, with Aztec committing five errors and Bloomfield committing four of its own.

Aztec improved to 16-7 on the season and is ranked fifth in the state in Class 4A, according to MaxPreps. The Tigers have three games remaining on their regular-season schedule, with a road trip to Shiprock at 11 a.m. Saturday as their next game.

Bloomfield fell to 12-10 overall (3-4 district) and will host Gallup at 11 a.m. Saturday..

Kirtland Central 3, Shiprock 1

The Kirtland Central High School baseball team earned a hard-fought 3-1 victory at home Thursday afternoon over Shiprock, winning its second straight game.

The Broncos improved to 12-10 overall (3-4 District 1-4A) and will be home at 11 a.m. Saturday to face Miyamura.

The Chieftains (11-9 overall, 3-4 district) have lost two of their last three games and will be home at 11 a.m. Saturday to meet Aztec.

Navajo Prep 11, Tohatchi 2

Navajo Prep 17, Tohatchi 6 (6 innings)

The Navajo Prep baseball team scored seven times in the first inning, thanks to some big performances from Nehamiah Simpson and Jake Silago, as it ran past Tohatchi by a final of 11-2 in the first game of a doubleheader sweep on the road.

Simpson and Silago each drove in a run, while Dayton Yazzie scored twice and Jacob Arviso scored three times as the Eagles led 9-1 after just three innings.

Daniel Yazzie threw a complete game for the Eagles, striking out 14 batters and allowing only two runs on six hits.

In the nightcap, Navajo Prep continued to pound away at the Cougars, scoring four runs in the fifth and 10 more in the sixth inning on its way to a 17-6 win.

Shyheim Bileen scored three times in the game, while Dayton Yazzie, Simpson and Silago each drove in a pair of runs. 

Navajo Prep improved to 4-0 in District 1-3A and has won six straight, pushing its overall record this season to 8-13. The Eagles will be back on the road Tuesday afternoon for a doubleheader at Thoreau.

Softball

Aztec 10, Bloomfield 0 (6 innings)

Aztec 14, Bloomfield 4 (5 innings)

The Aztec High School softball team kept itself within a half-game of District 1-4A-leading Gallup with a pair of victories at home Thursday afternoon over Bloomfield.

In the opening game of the doubleheader, Aztec jumped out to a c6-0 lead after two innings, thanks to a double and a triple from Whitney Boone, as well as a pair of RBIs from Reagan Bradshaw.

Meantime, Nizhoni Yellow did the work from the circle, striking out eight batters and allowing only two hits to earn the complete game win.

In the nightcap, Aztec rallied from a 4-1 deficit heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, scoring 13 unanswered runs on its way to a 14-4 victory over the Bobcats.

Bloomfield hurt itself defensively in the second game, recording 12 errors in the contest. Yellow, Bradshaw and Shaylee Wooley each drove in a pair of runs, while Boone, Wooley, Langford and Alexyn Candelaria each scored a pair of runs.

Aztec improved to 13-8 overall (5-1 district) and will be on the road for a doubleheader at 11 a.m. Saturday against Shiprock.

Bloomfield fell to 9-14 overall (4-3 district) and will be on the road to face Gallup on at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Kirtland Central 18, Shiprock 7

The Kirtland Central High School softball team put an exclamation point on its victory on the road over Shiprock, scoring 10 times in the top of the seventh inning on its way to an 18-7 district win over the Chieftains.

The win improved Kirtland Central's record on the season to 12-8 (3-4 District 1-4A) before it visits Miyamura at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Shiprock fell to 1-14 on the season and remained winless in three games against district competition. The Chieftains will try and bounce back at 11 a.m. Saturday when they host Aztec in a doubleheader.

Steve Bortstein can be reached via email at SBortstein@Gannett.com, via Twitter @DTSBortstein or on the phone at (505) 635-2680. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.