ALAMOSA — Senior Day was memorable for the Alamosa Mean Moose baseball team. The weather was warm and the wind remained mostly calm as Alamosa swept the visiting Pagosa Springs Pirates in the final spring 2017 regular season double header on Saturday.
Aggressive base running and numerous stolen bags contributed to Alamosa runs in both games.
Game one started as a pitching duel as junior Chance Strand started on the mound for Alamosa opposed by Pirates hurler Shane Miller.
Two innings into the game Alamosa held a 2-0 advantage. Pagosa Springs evened things up 2-2 in the top of the third sending nine to the plate. Strand lost his control and was pulled by Coach Jason Romero in the frame with the bases loaded and two outs. Sophomore Caden Alonzo restored order and closed out the inning on a groundout to second base. Alonzo then held the Pirates scoreless for the next three frames.
Alamosa responded in the bottom of the third by plating three runs on three hits, one hit by pitch and a Pirates error. The Mean Moose never looked back as they tacked on two runs in the fourth inning, chasing Miller from the mound, four runs in the fifth and one final run in the bottom of the sixth.
The Pirates added a final run in the top of the seventh and after two walks, Alonzo earned the win after Gage Calder came in and walked one before striking out the final Pirate batter to end the game as Alamosa cruised to a 12-4 victory.
Between games outgoing seniors Nick McWilliams, Christian Macias and Mason Barrows and their parents were honored on the field.
As game two began clouds moved in, the wind picked up and light rain began to fall. Pagosa Springs jumped out early in the first inning as PJ Bailey led off the game with a single to right field, followed by a single off the bat of Jesse Laverty to right and a two-run double from Keaton Laverty to center field. Dane Kline then knocked in Laverty with a single to left field.
Junior Tyler Zimmerman struggled early on the mound but battled out of it to limit the damage.
Kline took the mound for the Pirates and worked out of trouble in the bottom of the first, entering the second inning with a 3-0 lead.
Zimmerman made easy work of the Pirate batters in the top of the second, striking out two and began to settle in nicely as he began to control the strike zone.
Alamosa came out swinging in their half of the second as 12 Mean Moose came to the plate. They put up a lopsided number, plating eight runs on three singles, two doubles, three walks, one hit by pitch and one Pirate error, exiting the inning with an 8-3 lead.
Zimmerman allowed a single run to the Pirates in the third inning and three runs in the fourth frame as Pagosa closed the gap to 8-7, but that was as close as the Pirates would get as Alamosa tacked on two runs in the fourth and fifth frames off Pagosa relievers Keaton Laverty and DJ Day to close out the scoring and giving the Mean Moose a 12-7 win.
Zimmerman threw a complete game.
Hitting stars for the Mean Moose included Zimmerman, Strand, sophomore Adam Crowder and senior Mason Barrows.
Jesse Laverty, Keaton Laverty and PJ Bailey had good days at the plate for Pagosa Springs.
The Mean Moose finish the regular season with a 7-3 Intermountain League and 13-5 overall record. Pagosa Springs’ record now sits at 1-9 in league and 6-11 over all with one game left to play at Salida on Monday, May 8.
Now the waiting game begins for the Mean Moose as seeding for the playoffs has begun and they await news of when, where and whom they will play expected to be announced on Wednesday.
Caption: Junior Tyler Zimmerman slides safely home as the Pagosa Springs pitcher couldn’t snag the toss from his catcher after a wild pitch in Saturday’s 12-4 victory in the first tilt of the final IML double-header. Also shown are umpire Rodney Martinez and batter Caden Alonzo. The Moose should learn Wednesday about who, when and where they’ll start post-season play. Courier photo by Keith R. Cerny