By Arnie Leshin
Well, what do you know, St. Michael’s is playing Dexter again, this time on the baseball field. It’s been a week since the schools met up on the softball field in the first round at Dexter, with the 7th seeded Demons ending the 10th Lady Horsemen’s season, 6-1, in the single-elimination format.
This time, it’s not at Dexter, it’s at Rio Rancho Cleveland in the Thursday 3A quarterfinals. But one thing remains the same, these Demons have the same overall record, 12-13, as their girls. But as the 12th seed, they hit the road and swept 5thseeded Socorro, 5-2 and 13-3.
So disregard their seed. It’s state tournament time, only once have they won state, that coming in the A-2A championship, but surprises do happen.
The Horsemen have been in four finals, winning back-to-back in 2003 and 2004 under Mark Pierce. Under present school president as head coach, Taylor Gantt, they lost in the 2010 final, and in 2006, were runners-up with John Chavez the head coach.
Another thing that has a familiar look, and that’s Demons, just like neighborhood rival Santa Fe High is.
But St. Michael’s upped its overall record to 18-9-1 after sweeping visiting Zuni in last weekend’s rain-delayed doubleheader. That was its fourth straight triumph, but it fell short of catching district leader Robertson by losing twice in the final week at the Cardinals diamond.
Fortunately, district 2 fared well when the state tournament field was announced. All five of its schools made the 16-team field. All but 15th seed Raton advanced after the Tigers were routed by second seeded East Mountain.
But district champion Robertson (20-7-1) played 16th seeded Tularosa a day ahead of the other games, and shut it down 12-0 and 10-0. Then the Cards’ head coach Leroy Gonzales scouted the next night’s contest where 8th seeded district foe Santa Fe Indian School was home to 9th seed Navajo Prep. He saw the Braves eliminate the visitors 13-3 and 7-4, and improve to 16-11.
So now it’s Robertson facing Indian School on Thursday at 4 p.m., with St. Michael’s meeting up with Dexter at a scheduled 7 o’clock. Then there’s 3rd seeded West Las Vegas (19-6) coming off 21-0 and 10-0 romps over 14th seed Thoreau, taking on 8th seeded Cobre (19-7), which swept 11th seed Laguna-Acoma, 15-5, 10-0.
The Indians have won four in a row, but the Dons have won double that. Robertson is rolling along with seven-straight wins.
In the only quarterfinal not involving district 2, East Mountain takes its 21-7 football score record, and 10-game win streak, against 7th seed NMMI (20-9), which got past 10th seed Albuquerque Sandia Prep.
The semifinals on Friday will pair the Robertson-Indian School survivor against the St. Michael’s-Dexter winner. In the other, it’s the WLV-Cobre winner meeting the East Mountain-NMMI survivor. The championship will be played Saturday, 3 p.m., at Santa Ana Star Field.
And the Dexter softball team is still in the hunt of what has become double-elimination