RIO RANCHO — The undefeated Rio Rancho High School baseball team claimed its first District 1-5A championship since 2016, outlasting rival Cleveland 7-5 in a 12-inning, four-hour, weather-delayed marathon on Tuesday night.
Along the way, the Rams (19-0, 7-0 in 1-5A) won their school-record 19th game in a row, thanks to Payne Kent’s two-out, two-run, slicing double to left off Storm reliever Logan Kinter (1-2) in the top of the 12th.
Cleveland (15-4, 4-3) still has a chance to finish second in the district.
Dominic Priddy singled with one out in the top of the 12th, and one out later, Colt Uphold singled, setting the stage for Kent. His heroic hit was nearly caught by Chase Tyler, who’d made a web gem earlier in the game.
Garrett Rede (1-0), making only his second mound appearance of the season, earned the win with 5⅔ innings of two-hit, scoreless relief. Stuart Smith retired the Storm in order in the bottom of the 12th for a save.
— Gary Herron, Rio Rancho Observer
- St. Pius clinched the District 5-4A baseball championship on Tuesday night, winning 15-0 on the road at second-place Belen.
The Sartans (15-2 overall) won all six of their district games, and will be in line for a possible No. 1 seed in Class 4A when the state brackets are announced on Saturday night.
Josh Salas had three hits and two RBIs for the Sartans. Pitcher Matthew Cornelius went five innings, giving up one hit while striking out nine to earn the victory.
SOFTBALL: St. Pius locked up the 5-4A title on Tuesday afternoon, routing visiting Belen 15-1.
Gabriella Casco hit a second-inning grand slam for the Sartans to begin the scoring in a game that went five innings.
- The crucial District 6-4A matchup Tuesday at Valley between the first-place Vikings (4-0 in district) and second-place Bernalillo (4-1) was delayed by lightning, and eventually postponed by inclement weather.
Valley was leading 3-1 in the fourth inning when the decision was made to stop for the day. The teams will resume play on Wednesday afternoon at 4 p.m.
The Vikings will capture first place if they hold on to win. The Spartans are going to have to win by at least two runs to take first place.
– Journal Staff Writer James Yodice contributed to this story