Hilltopper Connor Mang strikes out a Moriarty batter in game one. Photo by Emma Martens
Hilltopper Kyle Hutton shows off his hops at first base. Photo by Emma Martens
Led by Hilltopper senior Lane Saunders, center, the team celebrates as the runners come home. Photo by Emma Martens
By EMMA MARTENS
The stands were full for an exciting game Friday at Bomber Field. The first three innings went by relatively quickly and with bases loaded at the bottom of the third, Lane Saunders, 16, brought Vince Marciano, 12, home for the first run of the game. Heading into the fourth inning, the Toppers lead the Pintos 1-0.
At the top of the fifth, Moriarty loaded the bases and on a catcher interference call, they tied the game. Quickly responding, Lane Saunders brings another runner home and the fifth inning ended with the Toppers up by 1.
A series of errors by the Toppers allowed for Moriarty to come from behind and send the game into over-time. The top of the ninth rolled in as the sun began to set. The Pintos tallied another two runs and the score was 4-2 Pintos into the ninth inning stretch.
Zealand Walterscheid’s (23) run at the bottom of the ninth brought the Topper dugout the excitement it needed to seal the deal. With bases loaded, Connor Mang, 13, sent it over the fence and the Toppers won 8-4. “I’m glad we kept fighting,” Mang said, “no matter the situation, we continued to come back.”
In the second game of the potential three, the Toppers came ready to win. The Pintos were shaken from their loss the previous day and an error at third allowed for the first Topper runs. With bases loaded, Travis Gonzales, 15, sent runners Kyle Hutton, 17, and Zealand Walterscheid home. Making their lead that much sweeter, Jarrett Genero, 7, sent a ball to the far fence and the Toppers came out of the second inning with a 5-0 lead.
Keeping the Pinto’s scoreless, the next two runs were for Los Alamos and at the end of the fourth, the scoreboard read 7-0 home. The Pintos responded with two runs and the Toppers struggled with their composure. Seniors Hunter Eaton, 11, and Lane Saunders, 16, managed to rally the team and only let one more run for the opposing Pintos.
Heading onto the state quarterfinals, the Toppers won 8-3. Next week the Toppers continue on their way to a state title. Let’s go Toppers and thank you for an exciting end to the LAHS home season.