Mean Moose win league championship

Jayden Mizokami of the Alamosa High School baseball team catches a pop fly in the first game of a doubleheader against Montezuma-Cortez Wednesday at Ortega Middle School. The Mean Moose won the first game 8-7 to win the Intermountain League, however, they lost the second game 11-3 (Courier photo by Ken Hamrick).

ALAMOSA – All the Alamosa High School baseball team needed was just one win to win the Intermountain League championship when it hosted Montezuma-Cortez Wednesday at Ortega Middle School’s field.

The Mean Moose got what they needed in the first game as they came from behind to defeat the Panthers. However, Cortez was able to win the second game by a score of 11-3.

“Even though we won the first game, we wanted to take two,” said Alamosa coach Tony Kechter. “It’s kind of a bittersweet situation.”

Both Alamosa and Bayfield tied for the top spot in the league with 6-2 records. But the Mean Moose earned league championship status because they defeated the Wolverines twice last weekend.

Game 1

Montezuma-Cortez jumped to the early lead by scoring three runs in the top of the first inning. Evan LaMunyon, Jake Blackmer and Braden Hallman all singled to load the bases with nobody our, and Miles Frost also singled to drive in LaMunyon. Trinidad McDonnell was hit by a pitch to plate Blackmer, however, Dean York, who was courtesy-running for Hallman, was thrown out at the plate on Sampson Lein’s grounder. Frost came home on Gabe Crowley’s groundout.

The Mean Moose tied the score in their half of the first. Evan Sowards led off with a walk, and Kade Jones was hit by a pitch. Both runners came home on Donovan Ramirez’s double.

Kiko Ruybal went in to courtesy run for Ramirez, and he took third on a wild pitch, and he scored on a passed ball.

The Panthers regained the lead with three more runs in the second. LaMunyon doubled and he came home on Blackmer’s single. Hallman was then hit by a pitch, and Frost doubled home both runners for a 6-3 Cortez lead.

The Mean Moose tied the score again this time with a three-run third. Kasey Jones drew a leadoff walk, and Ramirez followed with his second double of the game. Hayden Shawcroft was safe on an error to drive home Kasey Jones, and Michael Madril followed with a bunt single.

Carlos Garcia’s infield single scored Ruybal, and Sowards was hit by a pitch to plate Shawcroft.

The Panthers scored once in the top of the fourth. Lein walked, and Crowley was hit by a pitch. J.T. Carver reached on an error and Lein scored on the play.

Alamosa took the lead with as two-run sixth. Kade Jones singled, and Kasey Jones walked. Shawcroft’s single drove home Kade Jones with the tying run, and Madril singled home Kasey Jones with the winning run.

Montezuma-Cortez put two runners on base in the seventh. Ramirez caught J.T. Carver stealing second, and Lyle Carver was left stranded.

Kade Jones was the winning pitcher and he allowed seven runs and 12 hits and he had five strikeouts, one walk and four hit batters. Madril ended the game and he earned the save. He retired both batters he faced including one strikeout.

The Mean Moose had nine hits. Leading the offense were Ramirez who went 2-4 with two doubles and two RBIs, Shawcroft who went 2-4 with two RBIS, and Madril who went 2-4 with one RBI.

Game 2

The Panthers again got off to a good start by scoring a run in the top of the first. LaMunyon led off with a walk and he took second on a wild pitch. Frost was safe on an error and LaMunyon scored on the play.

Cortez put two more runs on the board in the third. LaMunyon walked again and he scored on Blackmer’s triple. Hallman singled home Blackmer to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead.

The Mean Moose got on the scoreboard by scoring a run in the fourth. Ramirez and Shawcroft both singled, and Ruybal, who again courtesy ran for Ramirez, took third on a balk and he scored on a wild pitch.

The Panthers, however, came back with four runs in the fifth. Lyle Carver received a leadoff walk and LaMunyon followed with a single. Blackmer tripled home both runners, and Hallman double to score Blackmer. Frost also doubled and York scored for a 7-1 Cortez advantage.

Alamosa scored twice in its half of the fifth. Sowards and Kade Jones both singled, and both runners scored on Kasey Jones’ double.

Cortez scored one run in the sixth. Lyle Carver singled and took second on a wild pitch. Blackmer then reached first base on an error and Carver scored.

The Panthers put three more runs in the seventh. McDonnell singled and J.T. Carver doubled. An error allowed McDonnell to score, and Lyle Carver singled home J.T. Carver. LaMunyon doubled to bring home Lyle Carver to wrap up the scoring.

The Mean Moose loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh but could not bring the runners home.

Tracen Rothermich started on the mound and he took the loss. He allowed four runs and two hits and he struck out four and walked four batters. Madril again finished the game but this time he allowed seven runs and 11 hits with three strikeouts and no walks.

The Mean Moose had seven hits in the second game and they were led by Kasey Jones who went 2-3 with a double and two RBIs.

What’s next

By winning the league, the Mean Moose (11-7) have qualified for the postseason. However, before looking ahead to that, they will host Gunnison on Tuesday. Game time is at 3 p.m.

“We’ve already got our spot, but we can’t overlook teams like we have,” Kechter said.

Alamosa 8, Montezuma-Cortez 7

Cortez 330   100   0 – 7  12   2

Alamosa 303   002   x – 8    9   2

McDonnell, Blackmer (4, L) and Hallman. Kad. Jones (W), Madril (7, S) and Ramirez.

Montezuma-Cortez 11, Alamosa 3

Cortez 102   041   3 – 11  13   0

Alamosa 000   120   0 –   3    7   3

LaMunyon (W), Frost (6) and Hallman. Rothermich (L), Madril (5) and Ramirez.

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