LOS LUNAS β€” The Tigers’ baseball squad split a two-game series with Aztec last weekend, losing the first game 7-6 and bouncing back with a 5-3 victory the next day.

“We still have a lot to work on,” said Los Lunas head coach Shaun Reed following the second game’s win. “But we showed we can overcome a loss in a short time and turn it around.”

The Tigers (9-2) held a strong lead for much of the game. With junior Kees Cieremans on the mound, they held Aztec to 1 run. After junior Chris Lucero hit a single to send sophomore Logan Heath in for a run in the second inning, they held on to a 1-0 lead until the fourth inning.

From the fourth through sixth innings, the Tigers played some of the best baseball of the night. They outscored Aztec 5-1 in those three innings. Junior Joseph Klaus picked up 2 RBIs after a triple and a single in the fourth and fifth. With a comfortable lead, senior Lyvan Medrano took Kees Cieremans place on the mound at the top of the sixth.

However, in the seventh and final inning, things began to fall apart. After a balk and a few defensive errors, the Tigers found themselves in a hole. Aztec punched in seven runs, giving them a 1-run advantage which Los Lunas couldn’t quite overcome.

“The emotion crept in, and we couldn’t rebound,” said Reed.

Fortunately for Los Lunas, the Tigers got a second shot the next morning.

Junior Lance Lueras started at pitcher and gave up 3 runs in the first two innings. But after the second inning, the Tigers didn’t allow another Aztec batter to get on base.

Offensively, Los Lunas strung a few hits together and found themselves up 4-3. In the sixth inning, they scored another run and put the game just out reach.

Senior David Sanchez led the Tigers, going 4-for-4 at bat with 3 RBIs.

Los Lunas’ win was their second victory over Aztec this season. They also played each other at the Scorpion Invitational in Farmington. Los Lunas won that game 14-3.

“It’s hard to beat a team twice in one season,” said Reed. “I’m happy that we executed.”

On Tuesday, the Tigers blasted through Highland with a 29-0 win. A recently released coaches’ poll has Los Lunas placed fourth in 4A baseball.

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Dustan Copeland