Alliance splits doubleheader with Rocky Mountain; claim tourney title

The Alliance First National Spartans celebrate a run during their game against Sidney on Saturday, June 20, in the Clair Conly Tournament.

ALLIANCE — The Alliance First National Spartans split its doubleheader with the Rocky Mountain Lobos on Monday, after claiming the Clair Conly Tournament title Sunday, June 21 in a close game against Buckley.

In game one, Rocky Mountain claimed a hard-fought 7-6 win.

Alliance coach Carlos Palomo said his team lost to a very good Colorado team.

“We didn’t execute some situational bunts,” he said. “We left too many runners on base,”

The Lobos jumped on top with four quick runs in the first inning, and added two into the second for an early 6-2 lead.

Alliance’s bats came alive in the fourth inning. The Spartans began the inning with a trio of singles by JJ Garza, Caeson Clarke and EJ Gomez to load the bases. Trevor DuBray smacked another single and driving in Brantz Halouska, who was pinch running for Garza.

With Vic Hinojosa at bat, Alliance’s Clarke scored and Gomez advanced to third on a wild pitch. Hinojosa picked up an RBI on a groundball to left field moving Gomez across the bag to cut the deficit to 6-3.

The Spartans’ DuBray picked up the fourth run of the inning on a sacrifice fly by Chase King.

Rocky Mountain added a run in the top of the sixth to take a 7-4 lead, but Alliance would rally.

In the bottom of the sixth, Hinojosa led off with a double to left field, and advanced to third on a wild pitch. A dropped third strike allowed King to advance to first, while Hinojosa crossed the bag to cut the lead to 7-5.

King advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Kirk Sanders.

After a strikeout by Alliance’s Collin Schrawyer, Joel Baker grounded out. King tagged up and scored the Spartans’ final run.

“My cap’s off to that team. They’re a very solid program,” Palomo said. “They had some really solid pitching as well. It’s great anytime you can get a team like that to come play.”

In game two, it was Alliance walking away with a one-run win.

Rocky Mountain tallied one run each in the top of the first and second for a 2-0 lead.

In the bottom of the second, DuBray scored on a single by Mario Garza to cut the deficit to 2-1.

A Kellen Muhr single tied the game with King scoring a run on the play.

With the game tied 2-2 in the top of the third, the Lobos’ Bryson Medrano doubled to left field scoring Cooper Axe, but Joel Anderson was throw out trying to advance to home.

Alliance would answer back in the bottom of the third on a two-run blast by Hinojosa. Hinojosa’s home run gave Alliance the 4-3 win with both teams going scoreless the last four innings.

Palomo said his team executed much better in the second contest.

“I think we were a lot more focused,” he said. “We had some clutch hitting. Vic Hinojosa hit a two-run bomb that put us ahead.

“We had some great pitching. We put up some zeros. Our pitching kept us in the ballgame.”

On Sunday, Alliance played Buckley for the Clair Conly Tournament title.

The Bombers scored first grabbing two runs in the first and one in the second inning for a 3-0 lead.

A five-run third inning put Alliance up 5-3. The Spartans added two insurance runs in the fifth.

Buckley answered back with two in the sixth, but fell two runs short of capturing its second tournament title in three years.

“This is the third year in a row we faced Buckley (for the tournament title), so it’s becoming a rivalry,” he said. “I expected it to be a close game going in, but I’m really excited about the way the boys kept a level head.”

Palomo said his team used some solid pitching and at bats to claim the win.

“We had some good, timely hits that helped give us the lead and win,” he said.

Alliance will be back in action on Wednesday, June 24 when they travel to Gering for a 7 p.m. game. The Spartans then travel to Gillette for a tournament on June 25-26.

Jeff Van Patten is the sports editor of the Star-Herald. Jeff can be reached by calling 308-632-9050 or emailing

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