Bloomfield and KC set to face off at state

Piedra Vista and Aztec draw home games in round one

Jake Newby

FARMINGTON — The Bloomfield and Kirtland Central baseball teams won't have to wait long to square off again after playing for the District 1-4A championship last Thursday.

Bloomfield's Luke Deifenbaugh gets a hit against Kirtland Central on April 28  at Kirtland Central High School.

The Bobcats earned the No. 7 seed in the state playoffs and drew No. 10 Kirtland Central in the round of 16 teams. The winner of the best of three series at John Gutierrez Field in Bloomfield will head to Albuquerque for the next round.

In 5A, Piedra Vista earned the No. 4 seed and will get to stay home at Ricketts Park for its series against No. 13 Roswell.

No. 6 Aztec finished strong with six wins in its last eight games and will also get a home series, against No. 11 Valencia. The first game of that series will be played at 6 p.m. on Friday and game two will be at 10 a.m. Saturday, with game three following immediately after, if necessary. The games will take place at Aztec High School.

No. 11 Shiprock will hit the road to play No. 6 Cobre in 4A, and in 3A, No. 13 Navajo Prep is set to travel and take on No. 4 Estancia.

Despite having a higher strength of schedule than Albuquerque Academy, and also sweeping the Chargers in an April 2 doubleheader, No. 9 Farmington missed out on a home series and has to travel to Albuquerque to play eighth-seeded Academy.

The Bobcats won their fourth straight district title by ousting KC in the first game of a doubleheader on Thursday, but the resilient Broncos scored a big confidence boost by coming back and beating Bloomfield in game two. Now the rivals will play again just over a week later, with a lot more at stake.

Bloomfield coach Frank DeHoyos said he's not happy about potentially playing a district foe five times in one season

"I think it's crap to be perfectly honest. I could sit here and try to be politically correct, but we literally have to beat (KC) four or five times," DeHoyos said. "It should be how it used to be, where the district champion and district runner-up go to Albuquerque and that's it, the best eight (teams) make it. And I'm saying this as the little fish that's going into the big pond next year in 5A."

The Bobcats and Broncos will play once on Friday and then at least once on Saturday, as a split in the two games would force a Saturday doubleheader.

Piedra Vista's Deylan Pigford rounds third base after hitting a home run against Farmington on April 19 at Ricketts Park in Farmington.

Panthers coach Mike McGaha has not coached a PV team to anything lower than a No. 2 seed until this season. McGaha said he expects the Roswell series to be a tough one.

"Obviously those teams from the south, in my opinion, play a very tough schedule," McGaha said. "So they're not going to be impressed with us. They're going to give us a game, I know that."

PV swept Roswell 3-0 and 6-1 in the same round last year. McGaha said the first game will be played on Friday, but the starting time was undetermined as of Sunday night.

Jake Newby covers sports for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4577.