Moose open diamond campaign at 2-1

Ben Wuckert is greeted at the plate by senior John Lujan after his fifth-inning homerun versus Eagle Valley on Friday. Lujan pitched a stellar game vs. Delta, scattering five hits and striking out seven in 3 2/3 innings of work. (Jeremy Alonzo)

DELTA – With a 2-1 start in the 2019 Luke Oeltjenbruns Memorial at Delta High School, the Alamosa Mean Moose baseball team vaulted to fourth place in the Class 3A RPI standings by the Colorado High School Activities Association (CHSAA).

With 13 seniors, Alamosa is coming off an impressive 2018 season, winning the IML for the first time in 28 years, and dropping a heartbreaker to Peak to Peak in extra innings in last year’s regional final.

The Moose opened tournament play Friday when a late inning rally fell just short to 4A RPI top ranked Eagle Valley. Alamosa bounced back with wins over Gunnison, 16-10, on Friday and then fourth-ranked (3A RPI) Delta, 10-7 Saturday.

Senior John Lujan collected the win on the hill over Delta, allowing five hits and four runs while striking out seven. Tyler Duarte and Gage Calder entered the game out of the bullpen and helped to close out the game in relief.

Kaden Hardesty and Ben Wuckert led AHS at the plate, both collecting two hits.

Alamosa trailed 1-0 after two innings but exploded for six runs in the top of the third and went up 9-1 with three runs in the fourth.

Senior Caden Alonzo was clutch at the plate with ducks on the pond Friday against Gunnison knocking in five RBIs on a fielder’s choice, a sacrifice fly, a groundout and a fifth inning double.

Both teams racked up a dozen hits each in the high scoring affair but the Moose built a 5-3 lead in the first frame and never looked back. A nine-run top of the fifth put the game away.

The Moose scoring flurry included doubles by Alonzo and Adam Crowder who also tripled in the first inning. Calder, Jose Manriquez, Crowder, Kaden Hardesty and Kolten Hillis all had multiple hits.

Crowder earned the win on the hill with five innings of work, allowing 11 hits and nine runs while striking out two and walking zero.

A three-run rally in the top of sixth inning wasn’t enough as Alamosa fell to Eagle Valley in Friday’s opener, 8-7. Jared Carson and Crowder both had RBIs in the comeback attempt.

The Moose racked up eight hits in the loss including a fifth-inning dinger by Wuckert, but couldn’t overcome four errors that allowed Eagle Valley to score six runs in the third.

Alonzo took the loss on the mound, pitching three innings, allowing seven runs on four hits and striking out six.

Alamosa will be on the road for the next two weeks, traveling to Colorado Springs on Wednesday to take on Buena Vista, St. Mary’s and Delta. The following week they head to Brush High School to face Sterling, Brush, and Bayfield.

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