Take Monday afternoon’s Albuquerque Metro Championships game between No. 11 Manzano and No. 6 Atrisco Heritage, for example.
It wasn’t just that the Jaguars beat the visiting Monarchs and Mitchell Parker 4-1 in the first round. It was that Atrisco Heritage won this game having been outhit 8-1.
“That’s all we had? One hit?” Atrisco Heritage coach Chris Trujillo said.
He then smiled.
“That’s the way I coached it,” he said.
Parker, Manzano’s talented left-handed pitcher, struck out 12 Jaguars and surrendered just the one hit, a flair single to right in the bottom of the first inning.
But with about 10 Major League scouts on hand, this was certainly not vintage Parker.
Yes, the senior southpaw (1-2) did strike out a dozen batters — and during several of the middle innings he had electric stuff, with a fastball topping out around 93 mph — but he also walked four and hit four others, and also plated an Atrisco Heritage run on a wild pitch.
“Honestly, I guess it was just the adjustment between the mound and the (strike) zone,” Parker said. At Atrisco, the warm-up mound is considerably lower than Atrisco’s primary mound. “I didn’t adjust to it.”
Most of Parker’s problems were confined to the first inning, when Atrisco Heritage (5-1) scored all its runs.
Parker walked Trent Dewyer to start the game. With one out, he walked Steven Barboa. Then he pelted Andres Quintana in the helmet to load the bases. And then Parker walked Ethan Harden to bring in the first run of the game.
A wild pitch scored a second run, and the Jaguars’ Tommy Perez lofted a bloop single into right, scoring a third run.
Atrisco Heritage stole a fourth run moments later with runners on first and third. The runner at first took off, the Monarchs went after him, and as they chased him down, the runner from third touched the plate.
The Jaguars hit only one ball hard off Parker in six innings — a rope by Barboa, lined out to center in the fifth. Atrisco did not have Parker’s measure in any other at-bat besides that one.
The Manzano offense generated plenty of traffic on the basepaths, but didn’t make much hay with its chances. There were a pair of hits in the second inning, but that inning flamed out after a pickoff by starter Harden (1-0).
A.J. Urquieta belted an RBI triple to center in the third for Manzano (4-3), scoring Zeke Fox who had led off with a single. But with one out, the Monarchs were not able to get Urquieta home.
Manzano had runners at first and second with nobody out in the sixth, chasing Harden.
Reliever Dewyer came on and got out of the jam with three straight outs. And he picked up the save in the seventh by striking out the side.
No. 1 Rio Rancho got five innings of one-hit ball from Hudson White in an 11-1 victory over Highland. … No. 2 seed Sandia scored six runs in the fifth inning, including bases-loaded hits by Chris Hamilton and Dante Caviggia, and the Matadors beat West Mesa 11-5. … Calen Callow homered for No. 4 Eldorado in the Eagles’ 7-3 victory over Albuquerque High. … Jaren Jackson tripled and drove in a pair of runs for No. 5 Cleveland, which downed Cibola 12-5. … No. 7 Volcano Vista had nine runs in the second inning, and nine two-out hits, led by Tim Hibben’s two-RBI single. … Other winners Monday were No. 3 La Cueva, 16-0 winners over Del Norte, and No. 8 St. Pius, which defeated Rio Grande 14-5.