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It’s a familiar sight for top-seeded St. Michael’s

By Arnie Leshin 
The state high school baseball tournament begins for top-seeded St. Michael’s Thursday when it opens against a familiar foe, District 2-3A rival Santa Fe Indian School at 4 p.m. at Rio Rancho Cleveland.
The Horsemen (19-6) have already played the Braves three times, swept them in a doubleheader (14-4, 12-3) at Indian School in a pair of run-rule shortened games, and wound up the regular season by turning back the Braves, 7-3, at Christian Brothers Athletic Complex.
In that finale, it was senior right-hander Elijah Sisneros who started and pitched for the first time since injuring his knee late last season in a contest against Pojoaque Valley, but he handled himself well, threw 91 pitches, gave up but two hits, and went the route.
“He looked fine,” said St. Michael’s head coach Augustin Ruiz. “The knee is good again, he had good stuff that included his fastball and curve.”
So, with Sisneros on the mound, senior standout hurler Owen Gruda will probably play left field. Of course, All-State CJ Saiz, will be behind the plate. His dad, Steve, and uncle, Paul, are assistant coaches.
As for Indian School, it moved on by eliminating district rival West Las Vegas, 4-3, and 6-4.
The semifinals and finals are Friday and Saturday at Rio Rancho High School.
The Horsemen list 14 on the varsity roster, but Ruiz said he would now add three junior varsity players. They have won seven in a row and 14 of their last 15.
“The rest has done us real well,” Ruiz said. “We have no injuries, and our practices focused on many things.”
Indian School moved on by defeating district opponent West Las Vegas, 2-1, and another district 2 entry, Robertson (16-7) had a 4th-round bye and takes on 5th-seeded East Mountain (17-7), which eliminated 12th-seeded Hatch Valley, 18-1 and 11-1.
The third seed is New Mexico Military Institute (20-6) and it meets up with 8th-seed Cobre (17-9). The fourth seed, Albuquerque Sandia Prep (18-5) plays 7th-seeded Raton (10-13), after the remaining District 2 team ousted Navajo Prep,10-0 and 6-2.

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