SALIDA – Combining all of the elements of a successful team on the diamond, Alamosa used good pitching, timely hitting and capitalized on opponents’ errors to win the Salida tournament over the weekend, running their season record to 5-2.
Making the championship even more special was the 8-5 victory over league rival Bayfield in the finals. The Mean Moose opened the tourney with a 9-4 victory over Salida on Friday and went on to defeat Pagosa Springs in the semis, 14-4, with three pitchers combining for a no-hitter.
Alamosa capitalized on some wind-driven errors by the Bayfield pirates on Saturday to break open a 3-3 tie in the top of the fifth inning led by an RBI double by Hayden Shawcroft. The Moose were down 3-1 in the top of the fourth when Shawcroft hit a two-run dinger.
Shawcroft and Kade Jones collected two hits apiece in the victory, while Jones pitched the Moose to victory, allowing five runs on five hits over five innings, striking out three. Tyler Duarte took the mound for the final three outs in the time-limited sixth inning to record the save.
Shawcroft led the Moose on the hill for the no-hitter defeat of Pagosa Springs, pitching three innings and striking out four. Gabe West finished on the mound, induing a fly-out to end the game.
Alamosa jumped on the Pirates early, Donovan Ramirez parking a grand slam for a 4-0 lead. The Moose scattered 10 hits in the game led by Evan Sowards and Kade Jones with two hits each. The champions also tore up the base paths with two players stealing at least two bases.
Dustin Curto singled on an 0-2 count to score one run and break a 2-2 tie with host Salida in the top of the fourth frame as the Moose went on to defeat the Spartans, 9-4, in their tournament opener.
Alamosa opened the scoring in the first inning with a solo homer by Kade Jones. The Moose scored 10 hits in the game, let by Case Zimmerman, Duarte and Jones with multiple hits.
Zimmerman went 3-for-3 at the plate to help his own cause as he drew the start on the mound, allowing just five hits and four runs over five innings, striking out seven.
The Moose will host Cortez in an Intermountain League tilt at 3 p.m. Tuesday, weather permitting, in what is expected to be a challenge.
(The sports application “Game Changer” contributed to this story.)