Baseball

LITTLE LEAGUE: Copper Hills wins District 12 Little League championship

Fletcher Edwards hit a 3-run shot for Sahuarita Copper Hills. (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Friday Results:

Copper Hills beat Rincon 9-3 to capture the District 12 Little League championship held at Purple Heart Park in Vail. The team from Sahuarita will join Western at the Little League State Tournament scheduled to start on Monday, July 17 in Mesa. Western will play on Monday and Copper Hills will play on Tuesday, July 18.

Terrance Hicks may have been the shortest player on the field Saturday night but the Sahuarita Middle Schooler took the biggest risk and it paid off big time for Copper Hills. Down 5-1 with the bases loaded and two outs, Isaiah Higuera hit a shot to right field and Hicks came running in for what appeared to be a routine collection of a single to limit the damage but Hicks took a chance and made a running slide for the ball.

Had Hicks missed the ball, chances are good Higuera cashes in on an inside-the-park grand slam and the game is tied but the pop of his glove indicated a perfectly timed dive and Rincon was turned away. It was the defensive turning point of the game.

“I just ran for it and I felt prepared,” Hicks said. “I knew I was going to catch it.”

Hicks also delivered with his bat on an RBI triple in the top of the second to help give Copper Hills a 2-1 lead. River Ries reached on an error to start the game and Isaiah Jackson knocked him in to give Rincon a 1-0 lead but an error in the top of the second set up Hicks.

Benny Ibarra reached on an error to start the top of the second and it proved costly after Hicks drove him in two outs later on his triple. Hicks came around to score on an errant throw on the play.

Alex Johnston and Ty Partain hit back-to-back singles in the top of the third and then Fletcher Edwards hit a home run to give Copper Hills the 5-1 lead. Johnston singled in the top of the fifth and Partain followed with a double to set up RBIs from Edwards and Zack Bugowski to put Copper Hills up 7-1.

Jackson hit a solo shot in the bottom half of the inning to cut the lead down to 7-2 but Copper Hills added two more in the top of the sixth with Johnston coming up with another RBI. Higuera singled and scored in the bottom of the sixth but Copper Hills held on for the 9-3 win.

Ethan McHolm got the start for Rincon and he had five strikeouts in the game. Matt Altherr pitched in the sixth. Jackson went 2-for2 with a home run and two RBI, Altherr went 2-3, McHolm had a hit as did Luis Camacho. Higuera went 2-3.

Partain recorded seven strikeouts got the win for Copper Hills and Johnston picked up two strikeouts in relief. Johnston went 4-4, Partain went 2-4 with a double, Edwards had a home run and four RBI, Brian Brinmer and Diego Alvarez had singles. Hicks had an RBI triple.

(Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

In 8-10 Baseball action, Copper Hills will play Sunnyside on Monday night for a shot at Rincon for the District 12 championship on Tuesday night. Rincon is 3-0.

Randolph will play Sunnyside Monday night for the Junior League championship scheduled for Monday night at Manzanita Park. Randolph is undefeated and beat Sunnyside 11-8 on Friday night.

In state tournament action, Sunnyside will play for the winner of Sierra Vista and Blythe on Tuesday night for the Junior Softball championship taking place at Mission Manor Park and Western will play Sunnyside Monday night for the 50/70 state championship held in Nogales. Sunnyside is undefeated in both tournaments so they will have to be beaten twice in the double-elimination format.

The state 9-11 Softball and Senior League Baseball tournaments get underway Monday night at the Arthur Pack complex.

Isaiah Jackson hit a solo shot for Vail Rincon (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

DISTRICT 12 LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STARS

8-10 Baseball: Palo Verde

Saturday, July 8
Copper Hills 21, Randolph 6
Rincon 12, Sunnyside 2

Monday, July 10
Copper Hills vs. Sunnyside, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11: Championship game
Rincon vs. Copper Hills/Sunnyside, 6:30 p.m.

Junior Baseball: Manzanita Park

Saturday, July 8
Sunnyside 18, American 5

Monday, July 10: Championship Game
Randolph vs. Sunnyside, 6:30 p.m.

STATE SENIOR SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

July 5-12: Mission Manor Park

Monday, July 10
Blythe vs. Sierra Vista, 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11: Championship Game
Sunnyside vs. Blythe/Sierra Vista, 6:30 p.m.

STATE 50/70 TOURNAMENT

July 6-11: Fleischer Park, Nogales

Saturday, July 8
Western 12, Sierra Vista 5

Monday, July 10: Championship Game
Sunnyside vs. Western, 6 p.m.

STATE 9-11 SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

July 10-15 Arthur Pack

Monday, July 10
Flagstaff vs. Thornydale, 7:30 p.m.
Sunnyside vs. Gilbert, 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, July 11
Bisbee vs. Litchfield/Arcadia, 7:30 p.m.

STATE SENIOR BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

July 10-15 Arthur Pack

Monday, July 10
Sunnyside vs. Nogales, 5 p.m.
Tucson Mountain vs. Payson, 7:30 p.m

JUNIOR SOFTBALL WESTERN REGIONAL

July 16-21: Arthur Pack

Sunday, July 16
Thornydale vs. Utah, 10:30 a.m.
Arizona vs. Hawaii/Alaska, 7:30 p.m.

FOLLOW @ANDYMORALES8 ON TWITTER!

Andy Morales was recognized by the AIA as the top high school reporter in 2014 and he was awarded the Ray McNally Award in 2017 and he 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 and on AZPreps365.com. Andy was named a Local Hero by the Tucson Weekly for 2016. Contact Andy Morales at AMoralesMyTucson@yahoo.com


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