Prep baseball: Academy routs Valley, Rio Rancho nips Volcano Vista

Even on a day with the wind blowing out, this might simply have advanced right into a pitcher’s duel.

Albuquerque Academy ensured that it didn’t.

Class 4A’s top-ranked Chargers (18-4, 4-0) assumed solo first place in District 6-4A baseball on a chilly afternoon within the North Valley, pulling away late in a 14-2 victory over Valley (11-11, 3-1).

In a battle of aces, it was Academy senior right-hander Alex Gaeto (3-2) who outpitched Valley junior lefty Alex Gilliam as Gaeto surrendered two runs over six innings, putting out eight.

The Chargers gave Gaeto all of the assist he’d want within the high of the third. A 3-base Valley error plated the sport’s first run, adopted by RBI singles from Mark McNaney (a suicide squeeze) and Henry Mitchell.

For Academy, going through Gilliam was an indication the Chargers have tailored; a number of weeks in the past on the Rio Rancho event, the Chargers lineup was stifled by Carlsbad lefty Mack Mabrey in a 1-0 loss through which Gaeto was the hard-luck loser.

“We’ve had struggles with left-handers in the past, but that Carlsbad game really solidified our mentality that we’ve got this against the good left-handed guys,” mentioned Mitchell.

Academy scored the sport’s first eight runs Tuesday as Mitchell added a two-RBI double in a four-run sixth.

A pair of RBI floor balls within the backside of the sixth obtained Valley on the board, however in any other case Gaeto was in management, relying repeatedly on his curveball as an out pitch.

“He’s got really good stuff. When he’s on, he’s really tough,” Chargers coach Chris Alexander mentioned. “He’s just a heck of a competitor. He doesn’t want to give anyone anything.”

Academy tacked on six extra runs within the seventh. Devan Johnson hit a three-run double to heart for an 11-2 lead, and Dominic Baca swatted a three-run house run to heart two batters later.

“We expected this to be a dogfight,” mentioned Gaeto. “We know Alex Gilliam; we saw him last year, and honestly, I thought he did a good job. His team made a few miscues and we took advantage of that.”

The groups meet once more April 29 at Academy. However the defending state champion Chargers, who’ve received eight straight, are gathering momentum.

“We’re playing well right now,” Alexander mentioned. “We’ve had some tough losses, but … we’re in a pretty good spot right now. We just have to keep the train on the tracks, and we’ll be all right.”

— James Yodice

RIO RANCHO 9, VOLCANO VISTA 8: At Rio Rancho, cousins Jaymin Fitak and Kai Fitak in all probability didn’t count on this final result, however Kai held the successful hand for the Rams (19-3, 3-1 in 1-5A).

Senior Jaymin Fitak (4-2) began the sport for the Hawks (12-7, 2-2 in 1-5A) on a horrendously windy day, and he was charged with all of the Rams’ runs.

Junior Kai Fitak relieved Rams starter Devon Alvarado within the fourth, after Tony Leger’s grand slam put the Hawks forward 8-7.

Jaymin Fitak walked Izaiah Tafoya to start out the fifth, and shortstop Jordan Baca’s wild throw to first gave the Rams two base runners. Casen Savage doubled them house and the scoring was full.

5 errors doomed the Hawks, who additionally misplaced to Rio Rancho final month within the metro ultimate.

Kai Fitak (2-0), the Rams’ beginning third baseman, had an RBI triple towards his cousin within the first inning and an RBI double within the second, because the Rams constructed a 7-2 lead after two innings.

— Gary Herron

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