East Mountain Little League’s Majors (10-12 year olds) and Intermediate 50/70 (13 year olds) played hard before getting eliminated in the recent All-Stars tournaments in Albuquerque.
East Mountain lost two games in the District 5 Majors Division double-elimination tournament, falling to host Roadrunner Little League in the opener and losing to Lobo Little League two days later.
East Mountain’s Intermediate 50/70 team, the only team in that division in District 5—which includes teams from central and east Albuquerque and the East Mountains—advanced directly to the state tournament, July 8-10 at Lobo Little League. East Mountain won its opening game in the state tournament before dropping the next two games.
East Mountain’s Majors team came out solid in the July 5 opener against Roadrunner. East Mountain held Roadrunner scoreless in the top of the first inning, turning an impressive double play to end the frame. East Mountain scored a run in the bottom of the inning when Sullivan Millea came home on Tanner Case’s infield hit to stake an early 1-0 lead.
“I didn’t think we were going to score, and then we did score, so it was fun,” said Millea.
After that, Roadrunner—the eventual District 5 Majors tournament champion—scored seven runs in the second inning, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and six more in the sixth for a 16-1 victory that lasted nearly four hours due to a lengthy lightning delay.
The loss to Roadrunner dropped East Mountain to the consolation bracket where the team lost 11-1 to Lobo on July 7. Millea scored East Mountain’s only run in that game.
East Mountain’s Intermediate 50/70 team won its July 9 opener in the state tournament, pounding Albuquerque’s West Mesa Little League 17-10.
Ryan Moorhead’s three-run home run helped ignite East Mountain’s six-run first inning. Royce Dennison homered in the second to help fuel seven more runs. Bosten Richards scored a run in the fifth and blasted a three-run homer in the sixth to cap East Mountain’s scoring.
East Mountain then played Roswell later in the day and fell 14-4.
Richards, Moorhead, and Liam Pierce scored in the top of the first to give East Mountain an early 3-0 lead.
Roswell, the tournament champion, answered with three runs in the bottom of the first and added six runs in the second for a 9-3 lead.
Dennison drove in Devin Griego to make it 9-4 in the top of the third.
Roswell scored two runs in the bottom of the third and added a run in the fourth, another in the fifth and one in the sixth.
East Mountain was the only team to go six innings against Roswell, who mercy-ruled all its opponents in the tournament.
East Mountain’s final game of the tournament was a rematch against West Mesa that was a battle that went down to the final inning.
East Mountain scored a pair of runs in the first inning and added four more in the second to build a 6-1 lead. West Mesa trimmed the margin to 6-4 in the third, but East Mountain scored four runs in the fourth to go up 10-4.
West Mesa added a run in the fifth to cut it to 10-5. Brody Fryar’s two-run blast in the sixth increased East Mountain’s lead to 12-5 before West Mesa scored three to make it 12-8.
Richards led off the seventh with a solo home run and moments later Moorhead scored to pad East Mountain’s lead to 14-8.
But West Mesa mounted a seven-run rally in the bottom of the seventh to win 15-14.