The Belen High School baseball team showed signs of improvement in their 8-4 beating of the Los Alamos Hilltoppers in Belen.
“We put the ball into play a lot better in this game,” Eagle head coach Mike Gutierrez said after Saturday’s game.
The Eagles scored on the Hilltoppers early and often. In the first two innings, the first two Eagles to step to the plate ended up scoring runs as the Eagles built a 4-0 lead.
Bobby Baca scored two of the Eagles eight runs, including the first run of the game. Baca went 1-3 in the game.
Michael Garcia was the first runner to score in the second. Garcia also scored two runs in the game, going 2-4 at the plate.
In the third inning, the Eagles plated two more runners to go up 6-0.
The Hilltoppers were able to cut the lead to 6-1 with a run in the fourth. But Belen got the run back when Baca scored his second run of the game in the bottom of the inning.
Belen added another run in the fifth inning. Robert Rimorin reached base on a Texas League single to right field then stole second and third base. Jonathan Rivera picked him up, scorching a double into left with two outs.
The Eagle batters were efficient at the plate, scoring in five of the six innings in which they batted.
Belen’s pitching was also solid. Starting pitcher Michael John Schmock was able to hold off Los Alamos, allowing only that one run through six complete innings. He booked his first win of the season, improving his record to 1-1 this season. Schmock’s performance on the mound, combined with the run support he got from the rest of the team, was more than enough for the Eagles.
“Michael John really had a pretty good game for us,” Gutierrez said. “The best thing about this game for him was that he pitched out of a couple of jams.”
The coach said the defense played well behind Schmock. Indications are that things may be starting to come together for the Eagles who improved to 3-2.
“I hope that this game will help some of the guys who have been struggling with the bats and that the production in this game will carry over into the district season,” Gutierrez said. “This game helps us out because we’re still scoring and doing the little things we need to do to win.”
After playing their final pre-district game at home against Albuquerque High on Thursday, the District 3-4A season begins Saturday for Belen. The Eagles will play a doubleheader at Las Cruces Oñate.
Los Alamos 0 0 0 1 0 0 3–4
Belen 2 2 2 1 1 0 0–8
Pitching– LA J. Coggeshall, M. Thome (6) and B. Springfield. Belen Michael John Schmock, Jonathan Rivera (7), Bobby Baca (7) and Steven Gutierrez. Win: Schmock (1-1) Loss: Coggeshall.
Hitting– LA: B. Kothe 2-4; Springfield 1-2 1R; K. Dallow 1-3, 1R. Belen: Steve Sanchez 2-4, 2 RBIs; Jonathan Rivera 2-3, 2 RBIs; Michael Garcia 2-4, 2R. Rec.: Belen 3-2; LA 1-4.