Pounding out 14 hits and routing visiting Del Norte 11-0 on a warm Tuesday afternoon, the Rio Rancho High School baseball team moved into the second round of the APS Metro Championships.

On Wednesday, again at 4 p.m. at the Rams’ ballpark, RRHS (10-1) will play the winner of the St. Pius X-Eldorado ballgame, also played Tuesday.

The second-seeded Rams jumped on the Knights (1-8) early, sending eight batters to the plate in the first and scoring three runs. Elijah Castañeda supplied an RBI-double and catcher Josh Boyer, marking his season debut after missing the first 10 games with an injury, plated a run on a groundout.

The second inning was even worse for the Knights, as the Rams sent 10 batters to the plate and put a 5 n the scoreboard. Casen Savage doubled home Noah Braunschweiger, who started the rally with a single; Ryan Casados’s triple scored Savage and Casados plated on a single by Dominick Priddy. Kai Fitak doubled home the final run in the outburst.

The Rams only managed a runner via an error in the third, then scored their final three runs in the fourth. Izzy Tafoya doubled and scored on a double by Boyer; Boyer scored on a single by Bryan Vasquez and Devon Alvarado later reached on an infield single to score Vasquez.

By game’s end, Rams coach Ron Murphy had used all 18 of his players on the roster.

Right-hander Nick Di Gregorio (2-0) retired the first 11 Knights he faced, with seven strikeouts in the four frames he worked. The Knights’ 12th batter of the game, Alex Garcia, doubled down the left-field line to spoil his bid for a no-hitter.

Jack Mollner worked the seventh, yield

Rams right-hander Nick Di Gregorio, king of the hill again Tuesday afternoon. (Herron photo)

ing an infield single.


The game, shorted to five innings via the 10-run mercy run, lasted only 66 minutes.