Toppers Sweep Elks In Season Finale

The Varsity Boys Baseball Team played its last games of the regular season Saturday in a doubleheader against the Pojoaque Elks. The Toppers dominated with a 5-2 victory in the first game and a 12-0 shutout in the second. Pictured is James Neal diving for a line drive ball with one out in the bottom of the 7th. Photo by Nate Limback

Antonio Gonzales winds up to throw a strike in the bottom of the 4th. Gonzales pitched the entire first game for the Toppers, helping to secure the win. Photo by Nate Limback

 
By GEORGE MORSE
Los Alamos Daily Post

Los Alamos Gets To Stay Home For Playoffs

After sweeping a regular-season-ending doubleheader 5-2, 12-0 against Pojoaque Valley High School May 4 at Pojoaque, the Los Alamos High School baseball team got the good news the next day.

The Hilltoppers will get to stay home for the opening round of the Class 4A state baseball championships. Los Alamos received the seventh seed and will host 10th-seeded Los Lunas High School Friday at Bomber Field.

Los Alamos finished the regular season 19-7 overall and won the District 2-4A championship with an 11-1 district record.

After a slow 3-5 start, the Hilltoppers were 14-2 and finished the regular season on an eight-game winning streak. Their only loss in District 2-4A was to second-place Taos High School. The Hilltoppers lost a 3-2 decision in 11 innings April 13 at Taos.

Los Alamos is the only team from District 2-4A to advance to postseason play.

“They play really well as a team,” Los Alamos Coach Bryan Neal said. “They’re unselfish. One always picked the other up. We had secure pitching and the hitting came around.”

The Hilltoppers were led by a strong pitching staff led by seniors Arthur Steinkamp, Antonio Gonzalez and Luke Kirkland.

Los Lunas finished the season with a 13-7 record and finished third in District 5-4A with a 3-5 record. Among their common opponents, Los Alamos and Los Lunas faced Aztec High School, Santa Teresa High School and Lovington High School during the regular season. Los Alamos lost to Aztec, lost to Santa Teresa and defeated Lovington. Los Lunas faced Aztec three times during the season, winning two of the games. The Tigers lost to Santa Teresa and defeated Lovington.

The Class 4A state baseball championships begin with a best-of-three game series at the home of the higher seed. The Hilltoppers and Tigers will play a single game Friday at 4 p.m. to start the series. The two teams will play a doubleheader (if needed) Saturday.

The winner advances to the state quarterfinals to face the winner of the Goodard High School/Hope Christian High School series May 16 at Rio Rancho High School.

Arthur Steinkamp at bat for the Toppers. Photo by Nate Limback

James Neal slides into third base off a wild pitch by the Elks in the 6th inning. Photo by Nate Limback

Hunter Swavely rounds the bases after hitting a home run to right field in the top of the 5th inning with no outs. Photo by Nate Limback

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