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The Organ Mountain High School baseball team is having another strong season, but the Knights feel they have some unfinished business from last year that they need to take care of.
Organ Mountain, formerly Oñate High, is 13-2 in District 3-5A and 20-3 overall.
They are also ranked No. 6 in the state of New Mexico by MaxPreps.
But the hurt from last year lingers on.
The Knights won their district last year and beat No. 1-seeded Rio Rancho in the opening round of the state 5A playoffs but then lost to La Cueva, the eventual state champion, in the semifinals.
“We had a really great run last year, especially with it being our last year as Oñate and our last year with coach (David) Reyes (who retired after 16 years leading the Knights),” said junior Riley Hall, a pitcher and infielder.
“But then losing to La Cueva, that was heartbreaking, especially coming off that win against Rio Rancho,” Hall continued.
Now, the Knights want to get back to the state playoffs and hope the bracket allows them to face La Cueva.
“We want to beat them,” Hall said.
Besides having a new name for the school, the Knights also have a new head coach in Alan Edmonson. Edmonson brings 19 years of head coaching experience in New Mexico – at Socorro, Goddard in Roswell and most recently Carlsbad.
“The season has been really great,” Edmonson said. “We are a little banged up right now and our offense has taken a hit. We aren’t scoring as many runs as we’d like, but our pitching and defense have been outstanding all year long. When we haven’t been scoring runs, they have been able to take care us.
“We have jumped on their back and just found ways to win,” Edmonson said.
Edmonson cites seniors Dominic Moreno, Tyce McPhearson and Ivan and Jimmel Cogles with providing leadership.
Hall, Maddux Edmonson (the coach’s son), Tyler McCann and Randy Bailey have led a more than capable pitching staff. Maddux Edmonson recently threw a no-hitter against Mayfield and McCann came close to throwing one himself.
“The pitching staff has been phenomenal,” Edmonson said.
The first-year Knight coach also credits junior outfielder Estevan Lara with being the team’s sparkplug with his all-out, 100-percent effort each and every day.
Matthew Hall, a sophomore, has also come up with clutch base hits numerous times during the season, Edmonson said.
Maddux Edmonson said he knew the team would be strong but he has been slightly surprised by how things have gone.
“We knew we could win games and do our thing,” he said. “But we weren’t expecting to be where we are” – ranked among the state’s top teams.