ALAMOSA — The Mean Moose pitching was effective and the offense struck early and often Saturday as Alamosa hosted the Monte Vista Pirates in an Intermountain League matchup at the OMS fields.
The Mean Moose swept the twin bill, on a sunny, bright day in dominating fashion 17-5 and 9-3. The offense set the tone in game one and didn’t slow down or take the pressure off until the final out of game two.
Junior Chance Strand took the mound for Alamosa in game one facing off against Pirate senior Eloy Martinez.
Strand gave up two runs in the first inning but worked out of early trouble with two strikeouts and a pop fly on the infield.
Martinez was not as fortunate in the bottom of the first as he ran into trouble immediately. The Mean Moose sent 10 batters to the dish and plated seven runs in an offensive outburst highlighted by a three-run homerun off the bat of sophomore Gage Calder.
Strand came out firing in the second inning as he settled into a nice rhythm, keeping the Pirate batters off balance with a good mix of fastballs and curveballs.
In the bottom of the frame Martinez found trouble again as the first three Alamosa batters reached base. Senior Pedro Ortiz came on in relief, limiting the damage as the Mean Moose sent three runners across the plate.
In the top of the third inning the Pirate offense came to life as nine batters stepped to the plate and scored three runs. Junior Enrique Ortiz led off the inning with a triple. Two walks sandwiched between two Mean Moose errors, opening the door for the Pirates offense.
Alamosa answered emphatically in the bottom of the inning as 11 batters came to bat and seven scored, highlighted by a two-run single from sophomore Adam Crowder’s bat, a run scoring triple from Calder and an rbi single to centerfield from sophomore Caden Alonzo.
Strand finished off the Pirates in the fourth and fifth innings closing out game one.
Game two started much the same as game one. Alamosa sent sophomore John Lujan to the bump. Monte Vista countered with sophomore Tucker Jones.
The first inning got off to a bumpy start as Lujan struggled with his command, walking two, hitting one batter with a pitch and allowing one run to cross the plate. He was helped out of trouble by a successful pickoff throw to third base by senior catcher Mason Barrows and a runners interference call as a batted ball struck Pirate base runner freshman Zach Castro.
The Mean Moose came out swinging in their half of the first, plating three runs on an rbi triple from Strand, an rbi single from Crowder and an error that plated Strand.
Lujan breezed through the second as he found his control and began working his changeup and curveball in with his lively fastball. The Mean Moose plated two more runs in the bottom of the frame as Strand improved on an excellent day at the plate with an rbi double.
Lujan allowed two more runs in the top of the third as an error, wild pitch, two passed balls and a balk helped the Monte Vista cause. Alamosa answered with two more runs in the third, knocking Jones out of the game as Eloy Martinez came on in relief and tacked on another run in the fourth to close out the scoring.
Alonzo came on in relief of Lujan with one out in the sixth inning and recorded the final five outs of the game, completing the sweep.
Alamosa’s record improved to 3-1 in league and 9-3 overall as Monte Vista fell to 2-4 in league and 4-9 overall.
Alamosa travels next to Bayfield on April 24th for a league doubleheader. Monte Vista will host Lamar on April 19th in a single non-conference matchup.
Caption: Assistant coach Vicente Barbosa let his pitcher and catcher know that he wasn’t pleased with their pitch selection early on in the Pirates loss to host Alamosa on Saturday. Starting pitcher Eloy Martinez is shown on the left with catcher Tristen Holder. Photo by Keith R. Cerny