Despite being down two starters, Magdalena is in the Class A state baseball tournament after a pair of wins against Jemez Valley kept the Steers in the No. 6 spot. They will face off against No. 3 Melrose.

The Steers were without Javen Tafoya due to an appendix flare-up that required surgery and a second starter due to disciplinary reasons. Coach Kyl Candelaria was forced to go to his “disabled list” and play his freshman Josiah, who is coming off rehabilitation from knee surgery.

Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain
Ayden Herschbach grimaces as he delivers a pitchy at full strength against Jemez Valley.

The decision wasn’t taken lightly, and Josiah’s range of motion was limited by a long, black, flexible brace on his left knee.

The brace limited Josiah’s speed, but it was easy to tell the right-hander had been throwing and taking batting practice. In his first two at-bats, he produced a two-RBI single and a two-RBI double. For good measure, Candelaria struck out Jemez Valley’s final batter as Magdalena recorded a 14-6 win.

It was an 18-hit game for the Steers, with Ayden Herschbach slapping out four hits, while Candelaria and Jayden Piasso came up with three each.
Matthew Lopez got the start and allowed one earned run before giving way to Herschbach in middle relief.

Steers 10 Warriors 5
The Warriors took a 5-0 lead before the Steers rallied with nine runs in the fifth and sixth innings to win 10-5 over Jemez.
The Steers pitched by committee, with Herschbach, Joe Zamora, Lopez, and Candelaria all taking the bump for Magdalena. Candelaria ended up with the win after facing nine batters and picking up four strikeouts. Lopez worked the majority of the game, allowing just two hits over four innings.
Playing in his final home game, senior Matthew Parker led all batters as he went 3-4, and he smacked a double.

Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain
Josiah Cadelaria is back at shortstop for the Steers

Playoff Update
The Steers’ state tournament game was scheduled for Wednesday at 3 p.m. in Melrose after El Defensor Chieftain’s press deadline.