Knocking out 13 hits and making good use of eight Cibola errors Tuesday evening paved the way for an 11-3 victory for the Rio Rancho High School baseball team.
Southpaw senior Devon Alvarado (5-0) was cruising along with a no-hitter until an infield single in the fourth; the grounder was hit to first baseman Seth Lee, and with Alvarado nowhere in sight, he was late to the bag and Aiden Depoy beat Lee there.
No matter: Alvarado gave up wind-aided solo homers in the fifth to Tommy White and Dalton Snell.
The Cougars (8-6, 0-2 in 1-5A), who were no-hit on April 1 by Cleveland’s Jace Dominic, scored their final run in the seventh when reliever Jason Gordon gave up a leadoff double, and that runner went to third on a fly ball to left – caught at the top of the fence by Elijah Castañeda.
The Rams (18-2, 2-0) scored more than enough runs to win in their first at-bats.
Ryan Casados drew a one-out walk, stole second, went to third on an infield single by Castañeda and scored on the first of those CHS errors – a throw sent to third by the catcher while Castañeda was stealing second.
Vascon Smith was hit by a pitch, and Kai Fitak tripled home Castañeda.
And Smith. Lee doubled and Fitak scored for a 4-0 lead.
The Rams added a run in the second on a single and stolen base by Casen Savage, and a three-bagger by Dominick Priddy.
Rio Rancho added five unearned runs in the fourth, with Fitak providing a two-run single.
The Rams’ final run scored in the sixth when Fitak singled, went to second on a wild pickoff attempt, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Bryan Vasquez’s triple.
Fitak and Lee shared offensive honors, each with three hits and combining for five RBIs; Fitak had four of them.