Most of the top prep baseball seeds advance; Rio Grande, Hope Christian are not among them

May 11—If you live in the Albuquerque metro area, then this news won't be a surprise: The first round of the Class 5A and 4A state baseball tournaments didn't finish.

Two best-of-3 series — Los Lunas-Volcano Vista in 5A and Los Alamos-Albuquerque Academy in 4A — were delayed and ultimately postponed on Saturday afternoon due to abundant rain and lightning.

The Chargers were leading the Hilltoppers 4-2 in the top of the seventh, and Los Alamos had the bases loaded with one out when rain swamped the Academy field. There was no way to complete the game.

Los Alamos will return at 2 p.m. Monday, Academy coach Chris Alexander said, and the Hilltoppers have to win Game 2 — and then a Game 3 — to avoid elimination. Academy already won Game 1 of the series on Friday.

On the West Side, 5A No. 11 seed Los Lunas beat No. 6 Volcano Vista 9-6 in Game 2 of that series earlier in the day Saturday.

Before Game 3 could begin? Rain. Lots of it. Rendering Volcano's field, like Academy's, unplayable.

But there was no immediate confirmation on when (or even where) Game 3 would be played on Monday. Los Lunas coach Paul Cieremans said he believed 4 p.m. Monday, but that was not yet confirmed.

J.J. Utash hit a grand slam in the top of the first inning for Los Lunas, James Utash also went deep, Allen Galaviz had three hits and two RBIs, and Isaiah Barela had a two-inning save for Los Lunas.

Six of the top eight seeds in 5A are into the quarterfinals. That includes No. 1 La Cueva, No. 2 Rio Rancho, No. 3 Cleveland, No. 4 Organ Mountain, No. 5 Sandia and No. 7 Carlsbad.

No. 8 seed Rio Grande was a first-round casualty.

The Ravens were eliminated on Saturday by ninth-seeded Eldorado, an 8-3 Eagles win that was delayed multiple times by weather.

Eldorado, down 3-1, scored seven runs on seven hits in the top of the sixth, including a two-RBI double by Brody Hofman. The Eagles (20-8) have the most wins in a single season in eight years, and, by new coach Ambrose Romero's math, this is the first time in 2,921 days that the program has qualified for the quarterfinals.

At La Cueva, the Bears got a bases-clearing double by Braiden Reynolds in the first inning, Brayden Likar hit a solo home run, and La Cueva (24-3) defeated Mayfield 12-2 to sweep that series.

Eldorado is next for the Bears, and the Eagles are one of the two New Mexico teams to have beaten La Cueva in the regular season.

Rio Rancho (24-4) eliminated Clovis with a 2-0 victory in Game 2 on Saturday. Casen Savage, in his first pitching start of the season, scattered four hits over six innings for the Rams — he wriggled out a bases-loaded jam in the top of the sixth — with lefty Dean Ellison saving the game in the seventh.

Nick DiGregorio drove in both Rio Rancho runs, with a ground ball in the first and a double in the sixth.

Cleveland (22-6) advanced 12-2 in Game 2 against Piedra Vista. Four Storm pitchers combined to shut down the Panthers.

At Sandia, the Matadors (21-7) won 5-1 Saturday over Las Cruces to sweep that series. Jeremiah Bustillos had a pair of hits for the Matadors, Talan Barraza pitched five strong innings for Sandia, giving up four hits and one run in five innings of work.

No. 4 Organ Mountain swept Hobbs, and Carlsbad swept Centennial.

CLASS 4A: Academy is not quite in the quarterfinals, but No. 3 Belen and No. 4 St. Pius are, as is No. 10 Bernalillo.

The Spartans won two games Saturday against No. 7 Hope Christian, a district rival, 7-3 and 8-3, to capture that series two games to one.

"Our team has really united since we went from first place to fourth place in district," Bernalillo coach Mike Puentes said. "We had to stop the bleeding."

Alexis Hernandez-Carrillo hit a two-run home run for the Spartans in the deciding Game 3.

In Belen (20-8), Logan Gonzalez pitched a complete game, and catcher Brysen Soiles had a home run in a 14-hit attack for the Eagles, who 10-runned Aztec 12-2. Belen plays Academy or Los Alamos in the quarterfinals.

At St. Pius, the two-time defending 4A state champion Sartans (17-8) ousted Chaparral with a 12-2 victory in Game 2. The Sartans scored six runs in the fourth, highlighted by Jax Mulville's two-RBI single. Jacob Madrid ended the game an inning later with a two-run double.

St. Pius plays Artesia on Thursday in the quarterfinals.

Bloomfield eliminated No. 9 seed Valley on Saturday, winning Game 2 by a 9-5 score.

CLASS 3A: The top four seeds in action this weekend won their first-round, best-of-3 series, including Ruidoso, which took out defending state champion Sandia Prep with a 10-0 win on Saturday.

No. 5 Santa Fe Indian, No. 7 Robertson and No. 8 West Las Vegas all comfortably finished off sweeps Saturday.

SOFTBALL: The last of the eight play-in games in Class 5A was held Saturday in Farmington, and No. 8 Piedra Vista ousted ninth-seeded Albuquerque High 15-8.

No. 1 Gallup and No. 3 Silver won 4A games as well on Saturday.