By Tony A. Archuleta
The Hot Springs baseball and cheerleading squads shared the spotlight Monday, May 21, during an end-of-season awards and recognition banquet at HSHS Cafeteria.
Among the highlights for Tiger Baseball in 2012 were a third place finish in District 3-3A and a second consecutive trip to the state tournament.
The Tigers (11-17 overall, 5-7 district) lost on the first-round playoff road to eventual 3A state champion Portales, which beat 3-3A champion Cobre to win the state title.
The Tigers lose three key seniors to graduation – shortstop Manuel “Nuny” Loera, third baseman Manny Marin and first baseman Isaac Bamonte.
Loera, an All District 3-3A First Team selection, will represent the South at the North-South All-Star game this summer in Las Vegas, N.M.
Loera led the Tigers in batting with a .472 hitting average (34-for-72), 24 RBIs, eight strikeouts and 12 walks.
Also named to the All-District First Team are junior pitcher Justin Ford and sophomore centerfielder Dusty Foreman.
Foreman batted .333 (18-for-54) with 18 RBIs, four strikeouts and 10 walks.
Ford led the state in strikeouts with 101, going 6-9 with a 4.01 ERA.
Named to the All-District Second Team are senior third baseman Manny Marin, freshman second baseman Sajid Porras and sophomore pitcher Luis Lara.
Porras was the third leading hitter for the Tigers with a .318 batting average (24-for-77), 13 RBIs, 18 strikeouts and 15 walks.
On the mound, Lara went 5-4, recording 74 strikeouts, along with a 4.89 ERA.
All-District Honorable Mentions are Bamonte and sophomore catcher Conrad Chavez.
Third-year head coach Anthony Flores, along with assistant coaches Edward Bamonte, Daniel Terrazas and volunteer coach Chance Levesque, led the Tigers.
One of the highlights for the Tiger cheerleading squad was a seventh place finish at the state cheer competition at Rio Rancho in March.
The cheer squad managed the top-10 finish competing mostly against 4A and 5A schools, according to head coach Mona Aguirre.
Two of the team members will take their cheerleading skills to the collegiate level this fall – Karah Tooley at Eastern New Mexico University and Vinny Apodaca at New Mexico State University.
Tooley and fellow senior Darleen Blacklock were also each commended for being six-year members of the Tiger cheer squad dating back to their middle school years.