By Dave Wagner
Aadam Anaya pitched five innings of shutout ball Tuesday night, but he and his Clovis Zia teammates couldn’t overcome a rough start.
Taking advantage of early errors, Roswell Lions Hondo scored five runs en route to a 5-3 win over Zia at Dickenson Field to advance to the championship round of the double-elimination state 11-year-old Little League all-star tournament.
Lions Hondo faces undefeated Albuquerque Eastdale.
Following the two errors, David Herrera lined an RBI single to center, Chanley Holmes doubled home two runs, Jordan Amador delivered a run-scoring infield hit and another run came home when Amador was caught in a rundown.
Little did his team know that five was enough, Lions Hondo manager Danny Herrera said.
“I was expecting to get a few more hits, but I’ve got to give the Clovis team credit,” Herrera said. “Their pitcher pitched a heck of a game.”
The diminutive Anaya allowed just four hits the rest of the way, keeping his team in the game. He walked one batter, hit one and struck out five.
“He pitched great,” Zia manager Dewey Patton said. “We shut them down after (the first). I didn’t want it to end today, but we gave it a good run.”
Zia chipped away with single runs in the first, fourth and fifth, but stranded nine runners, including seven in scoring position.
Lions Hondo pitcher Randy Seiler allowed six hits, with four walks and six strikeouts.
“My defense came through at critical times,” Herrera said. “(Zia) had some good shots, but my infielders made the plays.”
Zia scored on an error in the first, on a bases-loaded passed ball in the fourth, and on a double by Duncan Lunsford in the fifth. But the Clovis contingent left the bases loaded in the third, stranded two runners in the fourth and left the tying runs in scoring position in the fifth.
David Herrera and Deyton De La Cerda each had two hits for Lions Hondo, while Raul Trujillo went 2-for-4 for Zia.
Zia played without infielder Phillip Martinez, who suffered a fractured elbow during Monday’s winners bracket final against Eastdale and another player sitting out a team suspension.
“In a way, I’m kind of happy that we came as far as we did but I’m said,” Patton said. “Of course, I wanted to win but you can’t win them all.”
Eastdale owns a 16-2 win over the Roswell team.