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Train Robbers grab first in division

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By Dave Kavanaugh

Look out. Here come the Train Robbers.

A huge series win for the Las Vegas Train Robbers over Pecos League North Division rival Trinidad has given the Robbers the coveted top spot in the division.

Will Walsh smashed two home runs and finished 3 for 6 with five runs batted during Las Vegas’ 13-5 romp at Trinidad on Thursday night.

Ryan Lauer added a three-run homer and a solo bomb to help Atsushi Hebisawa record his fifth win of the summer.

Hebisawa allowed just three hits and two runs in five innings of work. He fanned five of the Triggers.

In previous games of the Trinidad series, Las Vegas won 13-1, 6-2 and 10-9. The lone defeat was a 17-1 setback this past Monday, July 8.

Trinidad had ruled the roost in the North since the start of the season back in May.

The Robbers followed the Trinidad series with an 11-8 win at Raton and a 10-5 doubling up of Taos on Friday back at Rodriguez Park.

Beating Raton on Thursday gave Las Vegas two wins in two states on the same day. Joey Haskell drove in five runs and Chris Wilson homered for the Robbers.

Walsh hit a perfect 5 for 5 with a solo home run, and Ted LeMasters homered on his way to collecting three RBI in Friday’s win. Shayne Miller recorded the pitching win after two shutout innings in which he struck out five of the seven batters he faced.

Las Vegas was 34-22 as of early Sunday while the team prepared to play host to White Sands. Trinidad was 32-26.

On Saturday, Raton upset an error-plagued Las Vegas squad 8-7 at Rodriguez Park, but that loss was mitigated by the Santa Fe Fuego’s 8-5 win over Trinidad.

Vegas was ahead 7-3 through five frames, but the Osos rallied with two runs in the sixth and three in the seventh, and the home team was unable to answer.

LeMasters doubled twice in going 3 for 4 with one run batted in. Starting pitcher Edison Alvarez also doubled and drove in two runs. Former NMHU star A.J. Alexander went 3 for 5 with a double.

The Robbers’ cause was stifled by eight defensive errors.

Alvarez struck out eight in six innings and only one of the five runs  with which he was tagged was earned. Reliever Jimmy Jensen absorbed the pitching defeat.

Next up, the Robbers host the Taos Blizzard for a four-game series through Thursday. Tickets are $6 general admission, $3 children.