2022 All-Metro Baseball & Softball Teams - Albuquerque Journal

2022 All-Metro Baseball & Softball Teams

For the first time in three years, there were normal high school baseball and softball seasons, free of masks and condensed schedules.

And for the first time in three years, the Journal presents its All-Metro teams in those two sports.

BASEBALL: The major change from previous incarnations is the addition of two pitchers — one to each of the two teams the Journal selected.

A pair of right-handers, Sandia junior Nico Barela (8-1, 2.72 ERA, 93 strikeouts in 64⅓ innings), who was a fierce and effective right arm for the Matadors, and Albuquerque Academy senior Alex Gaeto (4-2, 1.80 ERA, 88 Ks/50⅔ IP), the Chargers’ ace who had the ball in his hands for virtually all of his team’s key games, are the first-team pitchers in a season that showcased good depth on the bump.

Sandia, a Class 5A state finalist, has three players on the first team. Joining Barela is sophomore outfielder Aiden Griego (.448, 13 doubles, 1.152 OPS) and, as our utility player, standout freshman Adriel Figueroa-Brito (.402, 39 hits, 10 doubles, 1.180 OPS), a player who relished the spotlight and fashioned a marvelous season for the Matadors.

La Cueva also has three first-team selections, led by senior shortstop Akili Carris (.495, 15 doubles, 7 HRs, 38 RBIs), the co-player of the year in District 2-5A along with Sandia’s Griego. Senior catcher David Cooper (.394, 25 RBIs, 3 HRs) and senior first baseman Max McGaha (.500, 42 hits, 27 RBIs) also are on the first team from the Bears.

Rio Grande has a pair of extremely worthy players on the first team in senior designated hitter Eduardo Cardeñas (.607, 7 HRs, 27 BB, 46 RBIs) and speedy junior outfielder Leon Cereceres (.526, 5 HRs, 24-26 stolen base attempts).

One of the most interesting comments comes from veteran Rio Rancho coach Ron Murphy, talking about our first-team second baseman, junior Vascon Smith. Smith, Murphy said, hits the ball as hard as any player he’s seen since former Cibola catcher John Roskos, who eventually reached the major leagues in the Marlins’ organization in the mid-1990s. And if you watched Roskos, as I did, you’d understand what glorious praise that is for Smith.

The first team is rounded out by senior third baseman Nolan Esterly (.400) from Class 4A state champion St. Pius, and senior Volcano Vista outfielder Tony Leger (.463, .515 OBP, 38 hits, 7 doubles, 2 HRs, nine SBs).

SOFTBALL: Four teams — La Cueva, Rio Rancho, Cleveland and Manzano — have a pair of first-team selections.

The pitching slots were especially difficult to hash out. The Journal went with La Cueva sophomore Hannah Hunt, who was outstanding in the second half of the season for the Bears, winning all her district appearances, plus a huge late-season win over Rio Rancho.

Senior first baseman Ashlyn Zapach (.568 BA, 12 HRs, 54 RBIs, 42 runs, 1.074 slugging %) was the anchor bat in the Bears’ young lineup.

Rio Rancho is represented by senior outfielders Kionna King (.406, 13 HRs, 27 RBIs) and Kayla Reed (.382, 12 SBs).

Cleveland sophomore shortstop Mya Pacheco (.539, 8 HRs, 43 RBIs, 24 XBH) was one of the state’s most dynamic players. Her Storm teammate, sophomore outfielder Mercedes Lovato (.481, .604 OBP, 48 hits, 37 runs) joins her on the first team.

There were an abundance of power hitters on the Journal’s first team in addition to King and Zapach.

They include Manzano senior DH Mariana Narvaiz (.671, 14 HRs, 51 RBIs); Volcano Vista junior catcher Jayci Johnson (.467, 10 HRs, 35 RBIs) and Albuquerque Academy junior Sarah Post (.639, 12 HRs, 12 doubles, 55 hits, 49 RBIs, 1.361 slugging %), who is the first-team utility player.

Atrisco Heritage junior second baseman Erikha Ibarra (.580 and 34 runs from the leadoff spot) and Manzano senior third baseman Olivia Costales (.508, .620 OBP, 5 HRs, 31 RBIs) round out the first team.

 

Home » Sports » 2022 All-Metro Baseball & Softball Teams


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
Community pitches in for South Valley field
ABQnews Seeker
Area Little League, softball teams will ... Area Little League, softball teams will have a place to practice
2
Connie Mack play begins in Farmington
baseball
The Connie Mack World Series got ... The Connie Mack World Series got underway with pool play on Friday and Saturday, bracket play beginning Sunday, and two New Mexican teams in ...
3
Gunfire spurs panic at youth baseball game on the ...
ABQnews Seeker
Two teens were detained by police, ... Two teens were detained by police, then released over questions of probable cause
4
At its Grassroots, baseball is just fun
ABQnews Seeker
World-renowned photographer shares her love of ... World-renowned photographer shares her love of baseball through images captured along historic Route 66, including New Mexico.
5
2022 New Mexico Baseball Coaches Association 4A All-State Team
baseball
Player of the Year: Alex Gaeto ... Player of the Year: Alex Gaeto (ABQ Academy), Sr. Coach of the Year: Walter Sarracino (Grants) FIRST TEAM Pitchers: Alex Gaeto (ABQ Academy), Sr.; ...
6
2022 New Mexico Baseball Coaches Association 5A All-State Team
baseball
Player of the Year: Nolan Perry ... Player of the Year: Nolan Perry (Carlsbad), Sr. Coach of the Year: Chris Eaton (Sandia) FIRST TEAM Pitchers: Nolan Perry (Carlsbad), Sr.; Maddux Edmonson ...
7
2022 All-Metro Baseball & Softball Teams
baseball
For the first time in three ... For the first time in three years, there were normal high school baseball and softball seasons, free of masks and condensed schedules. And for ...
8
St. Pius gets its redemption, routs Academy for 4A ...
baseball
It took 11 months, but St. ... It took 11 months, but St. Pius got its redemption. And by the looks on the players' faces, it was worth the wait. The ...
9
Class 3A baseball: NMMI romps over East Mountain, sends ...
baseball
When you have New Mexico's strikeout ... When you have New Mexico's strikeout leader taking the mound in the state championship game, you have to like your chances. New Mexico Military ...