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No. 15 Cruces topples Eldorado

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St. Pius' Mason Martinez, center, receives a high-five after scoring against Belen on Friday in their Class 4A playoff game. The host Sartans won, 13-0. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

St. Pius’ Tristen Rizek, center, receives a high-five after scoring against Belen on Friday in their Class 4A playoff game. The host Sartans won, 13-0. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Kameron Miller’s flair for the dramatic is not limited to football.

The sophomore quarterbacked Las Cruces High to the Class 5A state championship in December, and on Friday, he demonstrated his versatility.

Miller clubbed a three-run home run in the top of the seventh, putting the Bulldawgs in front for the first time, as No. 15 seed Las Cruces scored five times in its last at-bat to stun No. 2 Eldorado 10-7 in the first game of their first-round series.

“We knew Las Cruces was a much better team than their record indicated, and their kids played great today,” Eagles coach Jim Johns said.

The Eagles had taken a 7-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth.

But the Bulldawgs (14-13) got the first two batters on in the seventh, causing the Eagles (19-6) to turn to reliever Jacob Howell. The first batter he faced was Miller.

Eldorado will have to beat Las Cruces twice today (10 a.m.) to advance.

“It’s crystal clear what’s in front of us,” Johns said. “There’s no gray area.”

  • Other 5A winners Friday were Hobbs, La Cueva, Rio Rancho, Carlsbad, Volcano Vista, Cleveland and Mayfield.
St. Pius’ Ray Reyes was one out from a no-hitter against visiting Belen on Friday. He finished with a one-hitter. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

St. Pius’ Ray Reyes was one out from a no-hitter against visiting Belen on Friday. He finished with a one-hitter. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

The top-seeded Bears (22-3) mercy-ruled No. 16 Cibola (9-16) in five innings, 11-0. Chad Smith (8-2) went the distance for La Cueva. Andrew Pratt homered, and Jeff Deimling had a two-RBI double in the Bears’ eighth-run fourth.

No. 3 Rio Rancho blanked No. 14 Manzano 6-0. Eli Cappello went six strong innings for the Rams (19-8).

Volcano Vista (18-7) twice was down two runs to 12th-seeded Oñate (13-14), but the fifth-seeded Hawks eventually won 5-4 in eight innings on Reyes Kahn’s bases-loaded, infield ground ball. The Knights were unable to get Chris Padilla at the plate.

No. 7 Cleveland (18-9) downed No. 10 Gadsden 6-3 in the first game of that series as the Storm scored four times in the sixth. Hobbs (17-10), the No. 8 seed, defeated ninth-seeded Valley (14-10-1) by a 4-1 count. Mayfield, seeded sixth, beat 11th-seeded Rio Grande 14-12. No. 4 Carlsbad blanked Alamogordo 4-0.

Class 4A

Ray Reyes was within one out of a five-inning, perfect game for St. Pius (17-8) before Andrew Gonzales singled to right field for Belen. Reyes, who struck out seven, settled for a one-hitter and the Sartans scored nine in the second inning to rout the Eagles 13-0.

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