ALAMOSA– Winners of 17 straight games, Lamar baseball grabbed the top overall seed in the Class 3A baseball regional tournament slated for Saturday at various sites and will determine who advances to state beginning May 19.
Alamosa qualified for the first time in three years and Centauri (9-10) will have its hands full with a first round game against the No. 1 Savages (18-1) at Lamar. The Mean Moose (13-5) will travel to Delta to face Valley (13-6) at 12:30 Saturday, with the winner to face the Delta-Rye victor for the championship of Class 3A Region 8 and advance to state.
Cedaredge and Sterling round out the Region 1 field with the winner to take on the Lamar-Centauri winner.
The Maroons finished the regular season 13-5 and 7-3 in Intermountain League action, splitting double headers with Centauri, Bayfield and Cortez. They were 6-1 at home with the only loss coming at the hands of Lamar early in the season.
The Valley Vikings were 6-3 in conference play and a perfect 8-0 at home.
Pretty well evenly matched on paper, Alamosa averaged 10 runs per game to Valley’s nine. As a team, the Maroons batted at over a .400 clip for the season to the Vikings’ .350.
The Mean Moose have been led by junior Chance Strand with a .614 batting average, followed by Tyler Zimmerman (.500) and Ben Wuckert (.483). Strand and Jon Lujan each hit two homeruns with Zimmerman leading the team in extra base hits with 12.
Lamar beat 2016 runner-up Manitou Springs 9-8 in extra innings in its last game of the season. The Mustangs are in Region 5, hosted by Lutheran — the No. 2 overall seed.
No. 3 University will host Region 7 that includes defending champion Faith Christian and The Academy. The Bulldogs will face Kent Denver in the first game.
La Junta and Peak to Peak are the No. 4 and 5 seed, respectively.
Delta came in at No. 6, earning a Region 4 host. The Panthers are on an 11-game win streak.
Bayfield is the No. 7 seed and Region 6 host. Resurrection Christian faces Salida, while Bayfield gets Denver Science & Tech: Stapleton.
Bennett (14-4) rounds out the top eight seeds. The Tigers are a strong No. 8 seed, with No. 9 Colorado Academy on the other side of their bracket.
Caption: Alamosa’s three seniors were honored during their final regular season games Saturday. Shown from left are coach Dennis Ortiz, Nick McWilliams, Christian Masias, Mason Barrows and coaches Jason Romero and John McGraw. Photo by Jennifer Alonzo