Curry County ousted from state LL tournament

Freedom New Mexico: Clarence Plank Curry County’s Gerald Fritz slides in safely under the tag of Albuquerque Altamont’s Andrew Mulhberger during the second inning of Sunday’s state junior Little League baseball game at Ram Field. Fritz scored Curry County’s lone run in a 12-1 loss.

Clarence Plank

It was a short stay for the Curry County all-stars in the Junior League division (ages 13-14) of the state Little League tournament.

Rained out in Saturday’s first-round game, Curry County dropped a 12-1 decision to Albuquerque Altamont on Sunday at Ram Field in Portales, then bowed out of the double-elimination event with a 13-1 setback to Los Alamos later in the day at Bell Park in Clovis.

Colter Lutz went 4-for-5 and drove in three runs to lead Altamont past Curry County.

The game was tied 1-1 when Altamont broke loose for four runs in the top of the fourth. Lutz hit an RBI single, then Joaquin Maese’s squeeze bunt brought home Jared Lujan.

“We started out a little slow, but the boys started to play better,” Altamont coach Jerry Lujan said. “We don’t have a lot of power, so we have to be able to run and do different things to score.”

The game was called after six innings because of the 10-run rule.

Austin Bell struck out nine in hurling a complete game for Altamont. Dakota Yandell pitched into the sixth inning for Curry County.

Matt Frye tossed a complete game and contributed a single and a double at the plate for Los Alamos, which scored five runs in the top of the sixth to end the game after six innings on the run rule.

Los Alamos opened an 8-0 lead with a five-run third. The teams had to wait out a 20-minute delay in the bottom of the fourth when the lights went out.

“I couldn’t complain about the boys,” Curry County coach Josh Burrell said. “They went out there and put the ball in play. Los Alamos just came to play at lot more than we did.”

Curry County’s lone run came in the bottom of the third.

Los Alamos coach Jeff Fredenburg said his team played well in bouncing back from an 11-4 first-round loss to Taos.

“I thought they played to the best of their ability,” Fredenburg said of his squad, which returns to action in a 7 p.m. elimination game against Carlsbad on Tuesday at Ram Field. “Curry County (kept) fighting even though they were down. They never gave up.”