“They’re determined to take care of some unfinished business”-Marc Hilton, Sandia Baseball Coach

 In General News, Press Releases

The Sandia Matadors are off to a strong start in 2024 with a 14-4 record. “Instead of a team, I would say we’re more like friends,” described senior second baseman Adriel Figueroa-brito.  “We have chemistry, we’re winners, we’re competitors.”

“We have a bunch of seniors on our team, a bunch of leaders, and I feel like we have a team that can win it all,” said senior shortstop Talan Barraza.

The Matadors have a new head coach in Marc Hilton, who is very familiar with the program. “Coming back to my alma mater and knowing this is a great program,” said Hilton on his reason to return to the school he once played for.  “What Coach Eaton and Coach Gunther have done, I wanted to carry on the tradition they left behind and their legacy.  It’s a very talented group of young men.”

Sandia also has one of the top arms in the state in Zach Kmatz who committed to play at Oregon State.  “I think he’s the best pitcher in the state,” said Hilton.  “He’s a four-year letterman and battle tested.  He bring s big fastball and has some great pitches.  Along with some of the other pitchers we’ve developed, our pitching staff has been very strong as a whole.”

“This year we have a lot more depth and I believe we can win the state championship,” said Kmatz.

State champion is a phrase the Matadors do not shy away from.  Their goal is to get the opportunity to complete some unfinished business after coming up short in the final in 2022 and failing to reach the title game in 2023. “Our pitching is good,” said Figueroa-brito.  “If we dial that in, I think we’ll be state champions.”

“They’re determined to take care of some unfinished business,” said Hilton.  “We worked very hard in the offseason to achieve that goal, and that’s to win a district title and win a state title.”

The Matadors haven’t won it all since taking back-to-back state titles in 1979 and 1980.

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