The first game of the Taos versus Los Alamos double-header Saturday (April 12) carried on for 12 innings and almost four hours. The score was tied 2-2 for most of the game.
The Tigers got their first two runs on the board in the first inning. Los Alamos soon picked up two of their own, and from there on it was, as Quinn Moon's father Michael Mash described, "a pitchers' duel."
Noah Armijo pitched the first five innings. Moon threw for three, and Isaiah Montano closed out the last four innings of the very long game. Finally, in the bottom of the 12th inning, Armijo hit a double deep into left field, then Jalen Montano hit a single to deep center, bringing Armijo home and ending the game 3-2, Taos.
The wild spring weather oscillated between balmy with sunshine and near freezing with snow pellets. At some moments it was pleasant, while at others players could be heard calling from the Hilltopper dugout for more hand warmers.
Perhaps the hand warmers did the trick. The Hilltoppers gained an early 2-0 lead in second inning of the second game. The Tigers sent them three up, three down in the third and hit one in for themselves, leaving Los Alamos with a 2-1 edge.
During the fourth inning, the Hilltopper running to second base was called out. A Los Alamos fan shouted to the Taos second baseman, "You were off the bag!" The player, jogging back to the dugout, replied, "No, I wasn't!" to which the Los Alamos fan yelled - "Shut your mouth!" - as if said fan had never heard of the NMAA rules of sportsmanship. One might have been tempted to consider it a joke among friends, albeit a joke in poor taste, but the fan cleared up any possible misconception by muttering about the players being "punks."
Fortunately for the Hilltoppers, their team held themselves to a higher standard than that fan. They gained a 3-1 lead in the sixth, and in the top of the seventh, they exploded. With the bases loaded, Los Alamos brought in all four runners and the score leapt to 7-1 in favor of Los Alamos, where it stayed for the remainder of the game.
The Tigers traveled to Española Valley for a 4 p.m. game on Tuesday after this section went to press. Next week they play Pojoaque Valley High School at home at 4 p.m. Tuesday (April 23).