Solid pitching combined with timely hitting helped Estancia High School’s baseball team cruise through last week’s first round of the Class 3A state tournament.

The sixth-seeded Bears (20-4) crushed the visiting No. 11 Clayton Yellowjackets 10-0 in the five-inning, mercy-rule-shortened contest. Estancia’s Drayton Oberg gave up just one hit and no walks while striking out nine Clayton batters.

Estancia’s Drayton Oberg fanned nine Clayton batters in last week’s victory in the first round of the Class 3A state baseball playoffs. Photo by G. Demarest.

“It was a very good outing for him,” Estancia head coach Mark Siedschlag said of Oberg’s performance, adding, “No walks, that’s really what I look for. He was very efficient.”

“I was just throwing it down the pipe,” Oberg said. “Let them hit it and let the defense do the work.”

Oberg scored Estancia’s first run in the bottom of first inning.

The Bears went three-up, three-down in the second inning before Zeke Tapia’s two-RBI double capped a 4-run third. RBIs by Moises Anaya and Zack Abeita fueled a 4-run fourth.

“The first couple of innings were very tight, especially at the plate, then we started to loosen up,” Siedschlag said. “I knew once we got a few hits we’d come around, we just needed somebody to get that catalyst going.”

Oberg also scored the game-winning 10th run in the bottom of the fifth on Reyes Herrera’s ground ball that went between the legs of Clayton’s shortstop.

With the first-round victory, the Bears advance to today’s 3A quarterfinals to face No. 3 Dexter at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho.

For more photos of the first-round win over Clayton, see the online edition of The Independent at