Arizona Junior State Baseball Tournament
July 16-24: Jesse Owens Park
The state tournament for the Little League Junior Baseball championship is being held at Jesse Owens Park this week. Sunnyside (2-1) is battling through the Elimination Bracket after losing a tight 7-4 game to Casa Grande on Sunday night.
Casa Grande (2-0) is one win away from the championship series after defeating Tucson Mountain 6-4 Tuesday night. Tucson Mountain (2-1) is scheduled to play Paradise Valley (3-1) today at 4:30 in an elimination game while Sunnyside will take on the loser of Show Low (1-0) and Nogales (2-0) Thursday night.
Casa Grande will play the winner of Show Low and Nogales on Friday. Verde Valley, Mesa American, Tempe and Kingman have all been eliminated.
Meanwhile, Southern California (4-1), Utah (2-2) and Northern California (2-0) are the last three team remaining at the Junior League Softball West Regional taking place at the Arthur Pack Complex in Marana.
Utah takes on N. California today at 4:00 p.m. and the loser will face S. California at 6:30 p.m. The two winners will play Thursday at 5 p.m. for the regional championship.
Casa Grande took a 3-0 lead on Tucson Mountain and it looked like the team from Kennedy Park was not going to be able to respond especially since Brennen Urseth was dominating Tucson Mountain from the mound and the plate.
Urseth went 4-for-4 in the game with three stolen bases and an inside-the-park home run. His home run gave Casa Grande a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second. He also eight batters in a row to start the game, aided by a double play in the top of the second. But, with two outs in the third inning, he gave up a walk to Daniel Vega, a single to Romeo Martinez, an infield hit to Genaro Moran and a walk to Louie Padilla.
Along the way, Vega scored on a wild pitch and Marco Medina came through with a two-RBI single to tie the game up 3-3.
Tucson Mountain took a 4-3 lead in the fourth after Adrian Dominguez doubled and Moran walked with the bases loaded. But that was it. Colin Herbert pitched in the fourth and Jesus Santos took over in the fifth to close the door for Casa Grande thanks in part to two running mistakes by Tucson Mountain in the top of the fifth with no outs.
Casa Grande tied the game up in the bottom of the fourth on a leadoff double from Herbert and an RBI from Urseth. Casa Grande added two unearned runs in the fifth to seal the 6-4 win.
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Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and has been a youth, high school and college coach for over 30 years. His own children have won multiple state high school championships and were named to all-state teams. Competing in hockey, basketball, baseball and track & field in high school, his unique perspective can only be found here, on AZPreps365.com and on the pages of the Vail Voice and the Tanque Verde Voice. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com