FARMINGTON – The Aztec baseball team exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning to help push the Tigers past defending 5A state champion Albuquerque Academy 11-6 Friday night in Aztec.
“We had one big inning. We didn’t particularly hit the ball very well, but we broke one inning open,” Aztec head coach Wes Laplatt said. “We were tied up 4-4, and we ended up with a seven-run inning, and that kind of changed us.”
In the fifth, Zach Taylor connected on a two-out pitch for a double that sparked a slew of hits for the two-out rally.
Kyler Duggins pitched a complete game for the Tigers. Laplatt said the Chargers (4-6) were able to get hits off of Duggins, but he did a good job battling through trouble.
Laplatt said the Tigers (9-4) had offensive production from throughout the lineup.
Aztec will host Bayfield, Colo., (4-2) and Shiprock (10-1) for a doubleheader on Tuesday.
Piedra Vista 10, Carlsbad 4
Fabian Magallanes continued his stellar season with another win for Piedra Vista as the Panthers rolled past Carlsbad (8-3) 10-4 Friday in Albuquerque.
“I was happy with the win, and Fabian did a nice job handling a very tight (strike) zone,” PV head coach Mike McGaha said. “We didn’t adjust very well to the pitching change Carlsbad made in the third. I was very unhappy with our lack of attention to detail and mental approach. We still have a long way to go, but we are going to grind it out together.”
The Panthers (12-5) recorded 10 hits in the game with Elijah Gamboa, Deylan Pigford, Tyler Mead and Cody Foster recording two hits each in the bottom half of the order.
Logan Klunder started the scoring for PV in the bottom of the first with an RBI single that scored Kyle Dewees.
PV will finish its Albuquerque trip with a game against Volcano Vista (10-5) this morning and a contest against St. Pius X (5-7) in the afternoon.
Shiprock 6, Laguna Acoma 3
Shiprock is on to the championship game at Thoreau’s tournament after the Chieftains (10-1) beat Laguna Acoma 6-3 in the semifinals Friday in Thoreau.
Shiprock scored four runs in the top of the fourth to take an early lead.
“We were hitting the ball well and were finding spots, but the hits through the rest of the game were pretty much right at (Laguna Acoma’s) guys,” Shiprock head coach Alfred Baer said.
After Shiprock’s bats cooled, pitcher Arjay Miller kept the Hawks (6-2) quiet.
“He threw hard and was effective. He kept them off balance with a good fastball and changeup, and he threw a little curveball here and there,” Baer said of Miller. “They couldn’t hit him, and if they did, we had Wade Shorty in centerfield chase down a couple of balls that saved a couple of runs.”
Shiprock will play Hot Springs (7-3) in the tournament final at 3 p.m. today.
Grants 9, Kirtland Central 6
Grants 7, Kirtland Central 5
Mistakes doomed Kirtland Central in a doubleheader against Grants (6-6) with the Broncos (5-8) committing 12 errors in 9-6 and 7-5 losses Friday afternoon in Grants.
“I told the boys after the games today that I didn’t feel like Grants won the games so much as we lost both of them. What I meant by that was, in the first game, we had 13 hits, but we had eight errors, and four of them came in one big inning,” KC head coach Bryan Wardroup said. “It was one of those days when the baseball gods weren’t smiling on us.”
KC’s bats cooled in the second game, recording six hits, but again, errors hurt the Broncos.
Bryson Dowdy pitched six innings in the second game, giving up four hits and two walks while striking out 10. During those six innings, six runs scored, but none of them were earned runs.
Wardroup said that if the Broncos had not given up so many unearned runs, he thought they would have won both games by one or two runs.
KC will host Navajo Prep (4-3) for a doubleheader on Monday.
Karl Schneider is the sports editor for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4648.