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State baseball tournament gets underway

SANTA FE, N.M. — The state baseball tournament begins today at the sites of the better seeds, and the north is well represented. Teams this weekend will play a three-game series, with the winners advancing to next week’s single-elimination tournament in Albuquerque and Rio Rancho.

Here are capsule looks at the games today and Saturday:

CLASS 5A

No. 12 LOS ALAMOS (15-10) at No. 5 ARTESIA (16-10), 6 p.m. today; 10 a.m. Saturday (doubleheader if needed)

The Hilltoppers finished the season strong, going 8-1 down the stretch after dropping a doubleheader to Albuquerque Academy early in the district season.

Los Alamos has carried heavy bats this season, averaging just under eight runs a game.

The Bulldogs, however, have a trio of aces in Aaron Natera (3-1, 2.51 earned-run average), Miguel Martinez (2-1, 1.20) and Jacob Orona (3-0 0.70) who have been stifling opposing offenses.

CLASS 4A

No. 3 ROBERTSON (21-4) vs. No. 14 SANDIA PREP (8-16), 4 p.m. today; 11 a.m. Saturday (doubleheader if needed)

Outside of Austen King and his three homers with 25 RBI, the Cardinals don’t particularly pack a lot of offensive punch in terms of the long ball. But when it comes to putting men on base and moving them around, there are few better than Robertson as Richard Armijo is hitting .506 with 27 RBIs, Brandon Lucero is at .416 with 19 RBI and Zach Jordan is at .405 with 25 RBI. It equals a whopping 10 runs a game.

To top it off, Isaiah Baca has a 1.40 ERA, Lucero is at 1.60 and Antonio Padilla 1.62.

No. 7 ST. MICHAEL’S (16-10) vs. No. 9 TAOS (15-11), 3 p.m. today; 11 a.m. Saturday (doubleheader if needed)

In a battle of District 2-4A rivals, the Horsemen have the advantage, having won two of three meetings this season. St. Mike’s offense runs through Sean Latham, who is pounding it at a .522 clip with nine doubles and 32 RBI. Derek Roybal is hitting is .415 with 21 RBI.

On the hill, Latham again leads the Horsemen with a 5-2 record and 1.75 ERA.

The Tigers have a number of players who can also swing the bat, with Santiago Cortez leading the way at .474 and 23 RBI, and Jude Suazo at .369 with 22 RBI.

No. 12 SANTA FE INDIAN SCHOOL (15-10) at NEW MEXICO MILITARY COLLEGE (19-7), 7 p.m. today; 10 a.m. Saturday (doubleheader if needed)

The Braves have struggled to the finish, losing five in a row and six of seven, but Abraham Herrera has been hitting .453 with 19 RBI and Jaron Tenorio is at .356 with 26 RBI. Kye Aguilar has been a pest on the base paths with 16 steals.

No. 13 WEST LAS VEGAS (11-13) vs. No. 5 PORTALES (16-10) 7 p.m. today; 11 a.m. Saturday (doubleheader if needed)

The Dons ended a three-game losing streak by winning the regular-season finale over Shiprock, but ace Robbie Alarcon (5-4, 1.91 ERA) will have to be on his game for West. He also carries the hot bat for the Dons, hitting .475 with 16 RBI.

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