Baseball

LITTLE LEAGUE: Sunnyside wins Senior Softball state championship; two more championships scheduled for Wednesday

Nick Reyes (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

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Sunnyside beat Randolph 7-4 in District 12 Junior League action to force a winner-take-all championship game on Wednesday night at Manzanita Park scheduled for 5:30 p.m.

Randolph (2-1) beat Sunnyside last Friday during bracket play but Sunnyside (3-1) made it out of the Elimination Bracket to face Randolph once again, knowing they would have to win Tuesday night to force another game under the double-elimination format.

Randolph took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after leadoff batter Mario Bejarano was intentionally walked and Alex Figueroa reached on an error. Kris Quiroz brought Bejarano in on a fielder’s choice and Jose Delgado scored Quiroz later in the inning.

Sunnyside cut the lead down to 2-1 in the bottom half of the inning after Alexander Fuentes reached on a hit-by-pitch and Alonso Bacame doubled him in.

Sunnyside scored another run in the bottom of the third in similar fashion with Nick Reyes reaching on another hit-by-pitch and he scored on an RBI from Alex Castaño. Randolph added a run in the top of the fourth on a single from William Verdugo and a sacrifice fly from Figueroa but another miscue at the plate hurt Randolph in the bottom of the fourth.

Erubiel Moreno reached on a dropped third strike for what would have been the second out of the inning. Bejarano picked up another strikeout but Martin Banuelos came up with a pinch-hit single and then stole second base. Moreno took off on the play and scored to tie the game up 3-3.

Bejarano finished with nine strikeouts in the game but Reyes was equally impressive and he shut down eight batters in a row after the fourth inning.

Sunnyside took advantage of another hit-by-pitch in the bottom of the fifth to pull away from Randolph. Reyes drew a walk to start off the bottom of the fifth but Bejarano picked up a pop fly and a strikeout. Adam Gonzalez kept Sunnyside alive with a single and then Esteban Ayon reached on the hit-by-pitch to load the bases with two outs.

A wild pitch scored Reyes and then Moreno tripled to score two more. Banuelos brought in Moreno and the score was now 7-3 Sunnyside. Bejarano was intentionally walked to start off the top of the seventh and he stole second base and then third base before scoring on a balk. Gonzalez finished the game for Sunnyside and he held on for the 7-4 win.

Roman Cañez took the rubber in the fifth inning for Randolph and Trevor Garcia pitched in the sixth.

The winner between Sunnyside and Randolph on Wednesday night will advance to the Western Regional held in San Jose from July 31 to August 7.

(Courtesy Photo)

In 8-10 Baseball action, Copper Hills will play Rincon for the District 12 championship scheduled for Palo Verde Park at 5:30 p.m.

In state tournament action, Sunnyside beat Blythe 12-2 to win the Senior Softball state championship held at Mission Manor Park. Sunnyside advances to the Western Regional scheduled from July 21-26 in Missoula, Montana.

Sunnyside will take on Wyoming, Hawaii and Northern California on Friday, July 21, Missoula and Montana on Saturday, July 22 and Southern California, Nevada and Oregon on Sunday, July 23.

Sunnyside beat Western 11-2 to win the 50/70 state championship held in Nogales. Nogales will also host the Western Regional from July 18-25. Seeding and opponents have not been released.

Bisbee and Thornydale will play each other in an Elimination Game at the 9-11 State Softball tournament held at Arthur Pack.

Nogales is now 2-0 at the State Senior League Baseball tournament being played at the Arthur Pack complex. Tucson Mountain is playing in an elimination game.

(District 12 Photo)

DISTRICT 12 LITTLE LEAGUE ALL-STARS

8-10 Baseball: Palo Verde

Tuesday, July 11
Copper Hills 15, Sunnyside 0

Wednesday, July 12: Championship game
Rincon vs. Copper Hills, 5:30 p.m.

Junior Baseball: Manzanita Park

Tuesday, July 11
Sunnyside 7, Randolph 4

Wednesday, July 12: Championship Game
Sunnyside vs. Randolph, 5:30 p.m.

STATE 9-11 SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

July 10-15 Arthur Pack

Tuesday, July 11
Thornydale 15, Sunnyside 4
Litchfield 20, Bisbee 0

Wednesday, July 12
Bisbee vs. Thornydale, 7:30 p.m.

STATE SENIOR BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

July 10-15 Arthur Pack

Tuesday, July 11
Casa Grande 9, Sunnyside 5
Nogales 10, Tucson Mountain 0

Wednesday, July 12
Tucson Mountain vs. Casa Grande, 5 p.m.
Nogales vs. Clarendon, 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.

50/70 WESTERN REGIONAL

July 18-25: Nogales

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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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