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Crown is at stake

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St. Pius shortstop Tristin Rizek, right, prepares to make the tag at second base against Carlsbad on Thursday afternoon. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

St. Pius shortstop Tristin Rizek, right, prepares to make the tag at second base against Carlsbad on Thursday afternoon. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Rio Rancho’s baseball team today plays for the title in the Sal Puentes Invitational.

The Rams downed Sandia 4-1 and will play Carlsbad at 11:30 this morning in the tournament final, which is hosted by Rio Rancho.

Marcus Martinez had a pair of doubles and scored two runs for the Rams, and Wyatt Kelley had six strong innings on the bump for Rio Rancho (9-5).

Carlsbad edged Cleveland 3-2 in the other semifinal Friday. The Storm’s Brandon Larson had a solid pitching effort in the loss.

Cleveland takes on Sandia for third place at 9 a.m. today.

St. Pius beat Goddard 6-5 in consolation bracket action Friday and the Sartans play Artesia for fifth place at 11:30 a.m. on the second baseball field.

On Thursday in the first round, Rio Rancho edged Artesia 3-2 as Grant Templin hit a two-run home run and was the winning pitcher for the Rams; Cleveland routed Goddard 11-1; and St. Pius fell 5-2 to Carlsbad.

Baseball

TUESDAY: La Cueva doubled up Valley 4-2, Eldorado defeated Volcano Vista 2-1, West Mesa ripped Gallup 11-4 and Highland beat Bernalillo 16-0.

The Eagles scored two in the bottom of the sixth to avenge a loss to the Hawks in the metro tournament final just three days earlier.

Rio Rancho’s Marcus Martinez prepares to snare the ball in the Rams’ game against Sandia on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Rio Rancho’s Marcus Martinez prepares to snare the ball in the Rams’ game against Sandia on Friday. (Jim Thompson/Albuquerque Journal)

Jacob Smith had two hits and two runs for the Mustangs. Paul Tapia went 3-for-3 in the Vikings’ loss.

THURSDAY: Rio Grande beat Cibola 6-4; Andres Gallegos had a pair of hits and Austin Schwartz drove in two runs for the Cougars. Also, La Cueva shut out West Mesa 9-0.

Softball

TUESDAY: Volcano Vista pounded Rio Grande 13-2 and St. Pius outscored Los Alamos 12-9.

Lauren Wilmert and Chelsee Nuñez both homered for the Hawks; Nuñez drove in six runs.

THURSDAY: Volcano Vista picked up a 5-2 victory over West Mesa, while Valley posted a 4-3 win over La Cueva.

Victoria Castro and Taylor Sargent combined to drive in three runs for the Hawks in their win. For the Vikings, Audriana Van Orman homered, tripled and had three hits.

FRIDAY: Cleveland, Cibola, St. Pius and Rio Rancho were part of the field for the Kristin Griego Memorial Tournament.

The Rams and Storm are in today’s 10 a.m. semifinals. Cleveland faces Aztec at 10 a.m. at Cleveland. Rio Rancho faces Oñate at noon at Eagle Ridge Middle School.

The championship game is set for 4 p.m. at Cleveland.

The Storm ripped McCurdy 18-1 in the first round, dominated St. Pius 14-0 in the second round, and beat Churchill, Ore., 8-5 in the quarterfinals, all on Friday.

Rio Rancho also had three wins Friday – 17-4 over Kirtland Central, 7-4 over Sandia and, in the quarterfinals, 7-4 over defending Class 5A state champion Las Cruces.

Cibola fell in the quarterfinals to Oñate, 7-3.

Tennis

TUESDAY: Valley edged Sandia 5-4, Eldorado rolled Volcano Vista 8-1 and La Cueva blanked Cleveland 9-0 in boys action. The Vikings won two of the three doubles matches after the teams tied 3-3 in singles.

  • On the girls’ side, La Cueva routed Cleveland 9-0, Manzano beat Rio Rancho 8-1, Sandia shredded Valley 9-0 and Albuquerque High downed Cibola 7-2.

WEDNESDAY: Rio West schools went 0-4 in matches. Valley lost 9-0 to Eldorado, and Cibola lost by that same score to La Cueva. Highland drilled Rio Rancho 8-1.

Sandia’s boys narrowly won, 5-4 over Volcano Vista.

  • La Cueva’s girls beat Cibola 7-2, with AHS winning 7-2 over Cleveland. Rio Rancho’s girls defeated Highland 5-1, and Eldorado blanked Valley 9-0.

In the Rams’ victory, which was all singles matches, Rio Rancho dropped two sets.

THURSDAY: Cleveland’s boys doubled up Sandia 6-3, Valley fell 9-0 to La Cueva, Volcano Vista dominated AHS 7-2 and Eldorado blew out Cibola 8-1.

The Storm swept the doubles, which included one forfeit. For the Hawks, they won five of six singles matches.

  • Rio Rancho’s girls cruised to a 9-0 win over West Mesa, with Volcano Vista’s girls (AHS) and Valley’s girls (La Cueva) both losing 9-0.

In six singles matches, the Rams dropped an incredible four games total.

All-State basketball

Three of the five members of the Class 5A boys first team were from the Rio West area. The teams were announced earlier this week.

Valley senior guards Joe Anaya and Adonis Saltes were voted to the first squad, as was Cleveland junior guard Ryan Jones.

Rio Rancho junior guard Brady Patterson was named to 5A’s second team.

In 4A, forward Ray Reyes also was all-state, on the second team. Same goes for Bosque School’s Gabe Chavez, a junior guard/forward, in 2A.

  • Volcano Vista guard Hannah Fenske and Cibola guard Kim Chapman were first-teamers on the girls’ all-state 5A squad. Deezha Battle of the Hawks and Dominique Carpenter of the Cougars were on the second team.

St. Pius junior guard Natalie Zamora was first-team all-state in 4A.

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