Belen’s baseball season came to a close at Rio Rancho High School as the Eagles fell to St. Pius in the quarterfinals by a score of 6-0 on Thursday afternoon.
“(St. Pius) came to play,” said Belen head coach Tom Wisneski. “And about half of our guys came to play.”
Belen (15-15, 6-2) didn’t have too many opportunities against the Sartans (23-5, 8-0). St. Pius junior Hayden Walker threw a no-hitter with nine strikeouts on the afternoon. Offensively, the Sartans were consistent, going only one inning — the third — without scoring.
Belen senior and future New Mexico Highlands pitcher Jadrian Martinez threw seven strikeouts of his own, but a few Eagles’ errors kept Belen from holding off the Sartans. Wisneski said Martinez’s performance was a highlight of the afternoon.
“I thought he battled with adversity well,” said Wisneski. “He’s a next-level pitcher, and that’s how he played.”
St. Pius would go on to beat Albuquerque Academy 15-2 in the semifinals. They will play Artesia for the 4A state title at 6 p.m., Saturday evening.
As for Belen, it’s back to the drawing board. Fortunately, they’ll return a big chunk of their roster in 2020. Only three seniors — Troy Matheson, Dominic Chavez and Martinez — are leaving the program.