The inaugural Los Lunas Home Run Derby was a hit among local baseball fans. Maybe a grand slam.
The derby last Thursday was hosted by village of Los Lunas Parks and Recreation at the sports complex to celebrate the completion of new lighting on the fields.
Marcos Castillo, recreation supervisor, said they wanted a fun event to show-off the new facility.
“We’re going to continually improve the facilities,” Castillo said. “New fencing is coming, more shade structures are coming. The work is never done, but this is a big step.”
The Home Run Derby was free, featuring competition in four divisions with a new bat going to the winners.
Geriah Gabaldon, of Los Lunas, took swings in the youth baseball division, hoping to get some pitches “right down the middle.”
Ilyannah Moya, of Los Lunas, admitted she was nervous, but decided to enter the fast pitch softball event because hitting makes her “feel good, happy.”
Forty-something Andrew Vigil, of Los Lunas wanted to take a crack at the younger crowd — and it worked out just fine, with Vigil sharing first place in the slow pitch softball category with Dean Zurla.
“I love them,” Vigil said about the new fields and lighting. “It’s the best thing that Los Lunas could have done for the kids.”
Other division winners included Jarod Utash in youth baseball, Eliseo Ramirez in high school baseball, and in fast pitch softball Jazmyn Griego.
Mike Powers spent more than 40 years as a television news and sports anchor, mostly in the Albuquerque market. He has won numerous awards including New Mexico Sportscaster of the Year. He covers a wide range of sports, including the Valencia County prep scene.