ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Coach declines to say why or name players, but team loses several starters.
The Los Lunas High School Tigers will face Manzano at 4 p.m. today as they open play in the District 5-5A season — minus seven of its players, including three at starting positions and two starting pitchers, the Valencia County News-Bulletin reported.
The players were suspended last following an incident on March 17 when the team was in Silver City taking part in the Fighting Colts Classic, the News-Bulletin said.
The suspended players sat out the championship game which Los Lunas won anyway, beating Gadsden by a 5-4 score, the paper said.
Coach James Doyle won't name the players and he declined to provide details of the incident, referring questions to Los Lunas High School Principal Dr. Dan Webb, who was unavailable for comment while the school was on spring break, according to the News-Bulletin.
Los Lunas already has had a roller-coaster season, losing its first six games, then going on a four-game winning streak, then since coming back from Silver City has lost three straight, the News-Bulletin said.
Since winning the Class 5A state championship game in 2002, the Los Lunas baseball program has fallen on hard times, going 2-24 in the next season and has posted a 29-72 overall record since the championship year, the paper reported.
Doyle was hired to revive a program that has had four coaches in the past five seasons, the News-Bulletin said.
"It's going to take a lot of work," the first-year coach told the News-Bulletin.